New Sponsor for British Champions Series
The thirty-five event British Champions Series will kick off on 30 April 2011 with the Newmarket Rowley Mile. This year, however, there will be a massive change in regard to purses, as a two year contract has been signed with Qatar International Investment & Projects Development Holding Co. to sponsor the series. This is set to have a historical impact on British horse racing. British Champions Day will also be a landmark experience, with three million pounds in prize money being made available.
Six brothers from the Qatar royal family own Qipco and have interests in other industries such as health, real estate, gas and finance. Sheik Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, CEO of Qipro, released a statement saying: "We want to raise the international profile of Qipco and the British Champions Series provides the perfect platform for the company to reach a wider audience. Through Qatar Bloodstock, which owns the stallion Makfi, we already have an interest in the British racing and breeding in industry."
According to the signed agreement, the inaugural series will be named by Qipro, as they will have the naming rights to the series. Full partnership rights will also be given to them for the prestigious British Champions Day which is hosted on 15 October at the Ascot Racecourse. This exciting race day features magnificent events such as the Diadem Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Pride Stakes, Jockey Club Cup and of course the Champion Stakes.
The new series will also enable Racing Enterprises Ltd. to instill renewed interest in horse racing, as television coverage and revenue through betting has been on the decline. Qipro will also be a partner of the Sussex Stakes, which forms part of the well-known Glorious Goodwood Festival. The main aim of this entire project is to boost the British Champions Day to the level of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomph that is hosted in France, and the United States Breeders' Cup.
Chief Executive of the British Champion Series, Karl Oliver, expressed his excitement in regard to the new agreement with Qipro and commented on the partnership by saying: "They share the same values and vision as we do, they're looking to establish themselves internationally and improve their profile. They see the British Champions Series as a great platform but they also understand horse racing." He also commented: "This will have a significant impact on the sport as a whole."