The new silks up for auction
By Lewis Porteous 5:33PM 7 SEP 2016
REMEMBER John Mulhern’s famous red silks with a white question mark and white quartered cap? Or how about the crazy multi-coloured patchwork design of the Oh So Risky Partnership?
Well now is the chance for owners who want to stand out from their peers to get their hands on a unique set of racing colours after the BHA on Wednesday revealed six eyecatching designs to go on sale through an online auction from Monday.
Among the never-before-seen selection are a set of rainbow-coloured silks, another with multi-coloured spots covering a white background and a visually scorching red and a yellow flame design.
Their creation and auction has been introduced as a result of the Racing industry’s Strategy for Growth, launched in 2015 “as a means to ensure a more prosperous and sustainable future for the sport, and those deriving their livelihoods from it”.
One of the key aims of the strategy is to grow racehorse ownership by improving the retention of existing owners and introducing more new owners to the sport, as well as improving the overall ownership experience.
‘Six unusual designs’
According to the BHA, the response from owners to the auction will help indicate the appetite for liberalisation of racing colours in Britain, currently restricted to 18 shades and select patterns.
Richard Wayman, chief operating officer of the BHA, said: “One of the ownership recommendations emanating from the Strategy for Growth was that a more liberal approach should be taken to racing colours and, more specifically, being able to link designs to the colours of a club or business may be a way to open up racehorse ownership to a new audience.
“As a first stage, we are offering these six unusual designs with a view to assessing interest levels from owners for something a bit different.
“If they prove popular, we can progress the project with the ultimate aim of providing owners with much greater choice when designing their colours.”
How to bid
Alongside the auction, the BHA says a number of recommendations relating to ownership have been delivered by the strategy, with work already in progress including the overhaul of ownership administration and an increased focus on syndicates, including a nationwide promotion to be launched by Great British Racing later in the year.
All colours have a reserve price of £5,000 and bidding closes at 8pm on Friday, September 23. Five per cent of all proceeds will be split between Racing Welfare and Retraining of Racehorses. The remainder of the income will be targeted at initiatives to “improve racehorse ownership and better help recruit and retain racehorse owners”.