At least 80 racing fixtures are to be axed by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) next year.

Last week the BHA announced a limit of 1,400 race meetings for 2012. This year 1,480 fixtures are running, down from 1,503 last year.

The decision follows concerns regarding the declining numbers of horses in the thoroughbred population (news, 7 July) and will “protect the competitiveness of racing”.

Uncertainty over the size of next year’s levy — the tax collected from bookmakers and the Tote to partially fund the sport — means fixture planning has been suspended since June.

But final funding for 2012 will be confirmed at the next Horserace Betting Levy Board meeting on 14 September.

The 2012 fixtures list is due to be published by 30 September.

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (18 August, 2011)