More meetings planned among racing shareholders to discuss BHA's future role

A meeting between BHA board members and representatives of the governing body's shareholders to discuss the authority's future role was said to have gone well on Monday, although those involved were tight-lipped over the substance of the discussions.

While the BHA's shareholders – comprising racecourses, owners, breeders and licensed personnel – are said to be happy to give the BHA independence in its regulatory and integrity duties, they are seeking more involvement in its governance role, including areas such as the compilation of the fixture list and government relations.

The BHA said it would not be commenting on the talks, with the issue likely to be discussed at its board meeting this week.

However, Thoroughbred Breeders' Association chairman Julian Richmond-Watson said after the meeting: "Representatives of the BHA's shareholders met today with a number of the BHA's independent board members. We had a good meeting and we will be meeting again in the next few weeks."

The BHA commissioned law firm Slaughter and May to carry out a governance review last year, but the issue of the organisation's remit really came to the fore in the summer amid the events which have led to BHA chairman Steve Harman stepping down several months early.

Some of the BHA's shareholders were said to have been deeply unhappy about the lack of consultation they received from the governing body over the Harman issue, although the BHA argued it was purely an internal matter.

There were suggestions at the time the sport should look at the BHA's regulatory and governance duties being split entirely. However, it is understood there is little appetite for a new body to be formed to carry out one of those roles.

This week's BHA board meeting will be the last to be chaired by Harman, who is set continue in the sport as a consultant on government relations.