Letter: Why Southwell numbers were cut; Ian Renton, director of racing for Arena Leisure, explains the decision to reduce the maximum field size to 14.Byline: IAN IAN Interactive Affiliate Network
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FOLLOWING recent correspondence regarding the maxi-mum field sizes at Southwell, I would like to explain the rationale behind reducing this number from 16 to 14.
The racing industry, in responding to the Office of Fair Trading The Office of Fair Trading or OFT is a non-ministerial government department of the United Kingdom, established by the Fair Trading Act 1973, which enforces both consumer protection and competition law, acting as the UK's economic regulator. inquiry, recognised the need to increase the size of the fixture list without damaging field sizes, and the BHB BHB Bar Harbor, ME, USA (Airport Code)
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BHB Block History Buffer , in its Modernisation of British Racing document, recommended a reduction in maximum field sizes to 14.
BHB spokesman Alan Delmonte is quite correct in his statement that this number is not set in stone for 2006, but the principle of spreading the same number of horses over a greater number of races remains.
With the likelihood of a substantial increase in the number of floodlit flood·light
1. Artificial light in an intensely bright and broad beam.
2. A unit that produces a beam of intense light; a flood.
tr.v. all-weather evening fixtures during the winter, it is unlikely that field sizes of 16 will be sustainable during this period in future years.
We therefore took the decision that the pounds 4.5 million committed to rebuilding our all-weather tracks at Wolverhampton and Southwell was better utilised in providing the best available tracks for a maximum of 14 runners than spent on increasing the width of the tracks in order to accommodate 16 runners for probably no more than a year.
There has been no attempt by any of the major bookmakers to influence field sizes at any of our tracks, the decision to reduce the maximum field size at Southwell being taken in the light of the various future requirements for the racing industry.
IAN RENTON Director of racing Arena Leisure plc