EUROPEAN PATTERN COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO THE 2016 EUROPEAN PROGRAMME / 21 JAN 16
7. Staying Race Programme
It remains vital that Europe supports a strong programme for horses racing at the Classic distance of a mile and a half and beyond. The programme for the staying horse features some extremely historic and important races, headlined by the Ascot Gold Cup, yet in recent years there has been a worrying trend towards decline in the pool of staying horses that the EPCwould not want to see continue.
Whilst changing trends in breeding naturally do not happen quickly, the EPC is looking to build a stronger foundation for staying horses in the future. Work is currently being carried out in Britain to enhance the programme for stayers just below Black Type level, with other EPC countries likely to follow suit. Moreover, a sub-committee of the EPC comprising Ruth Quinn (BHA), Henri Pouret (France Galop) and Jason Morris (Horse Racing Ireland) will meet in the spring of this year to consider possible enhancements to the programme at Pattern and Listed level (akin to the work recently carried out for sprinters) that would ensure the gene pool for stayers was at least maintained and the recent trend towards decline is reversed. Where possible the existing programme will be reviewed, and added to, in order to create a meaningful incentive for owners and breeders to produce and retain staying horses.