The at times acrimonious struggle by Britain's horseracing community to gather in funds from the bookmaking industry took an unexpected turn this week with the launch of a new initiative titled ‘Racing United: Campaign for a Fair Levy'.
The initiative takes the form of a charter which seeks the support of the public in a bid to secure the financial future of the racing following an ‘unacceptable' fall in its funding.
Launched jointly by the BHA, the Racecourse Association (RCA) and Horsemen's Group, the campaign is targeted on closing loopholes in the levy system that has seen funding for racing drop by more than a third in two years from GBP115 million to GBP75 million in 2010.
Nic Coward, chief executive of the BHA is squarely behind new campaign, saying: "The launch of this public campaign is the latest step in pressing home racing's case, a comprehensive case that is built on rigorous analysis, and which we have been advocating on behalf of the sport.
"Our objective is to secure what is right for the future of the whole sport, and the campaign is intended to leave no-one in any doubt as to the strength of support for it across the whole of racing and its followers."
Stephen Atkin, the chief executive of the RCA, has also thrown his weight behind the campaign, commenting: "The levy, in its current form, is failing to deliver a fair return to horse racing because it has not kept pace with the modern betting market. It can and must be fixed.
"We join together with our fellow stakeholders in the sport in calling the government and the Levy Board to act now to right this wrong."
The campaign includes a petition at www.racingunited.co.uk.