France Galop sets €278m budget for 2022

French flat and steeplechase racing's governing body France Galop has set a budget of €278m (£233m/$313m) for 2022, a 12% increase on this year's figure.

The 2022 budget also represents a 7.8% increase on 2019's figure, prior to disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

France's retail horse race betting monopoly Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) contributed €740m to France Galop coffers, below the €805m initially budgeted. This was in spite of issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as curfews and lockdowns - when France Galop was recording monthly losses of €15m.

Following the re-opening of points of sale, and the introduction of a Covid pass in August, the organisation expects to make a profit of €6m for the year. This will be redistributed to owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys whose profits that have had prize money withheld during the current racing season. This has seen 9% of all prize money for races held since 1 March temporarily retained by France Galop.

The funds will be distributed at the start of 2022, taking the total amount of prizes paid out for 2021 to €248M, down from €258M in 2019.

The decrease has been described as “relatively moderate” considering the situation during the first five months of the year. During this period, 3,500 points of sale were closed across the country, resulting in PMU's turnover decreasing by 15%.

With reopening continuing, PMU's contribution to flat and steeplechase racing is set to jump to €820m in 2022, a €60m advance on 2019. This is contingent upon no more interruptions to the racing schedule, PMU's international expansion and the operator reducing costs by €40m.