Flutter UKI is excited to partner with ITV and other industry stakeholders to deliver a six-part docuseries on British horseracing for a prime-time evening slot on ITV1 and ITVX next year.
The series will focus on the forthcoming 2023-24 Jumps season, with production to begin in December, and will tell the stories of lives, journeys, and adventures – both human and equine – which make horse racing so dramatic and compelling, as well as focus on the high levels of welfare applied to racehorses and jockeys. It will showcase the very best horse racing has to offer to a wider and broader audience and get behind the scenes of the sport like never before.
The Series will be produced by the ITV-backed independent production company, South Shore, and Flutter and Racecourse Media Group (RMG) have supported the project. However, the emphasis is very much on the series being a racing-wide collaboration, and many different stakeholders, including the Professional Jockeys’ Association and British Horseracing Authority (BHA), have already lent their invaluable support.
Flutter’s collaboration on this project forms part of its work towards the goal of the Do More pillar of its global Positive Impact Plan. ‘Do More’ encompasses Flutter’s commitment to give back to the communities in which it operates, with the aim to improve the lives of 10 million people by 2030 through leveraging its scale and collective passion of its colleagues.
Filming is due to start in December ahead of transmission in late summer 2024. South Shore has a strong track record in unscripted programming and is responsible for sports focussed series that include the BAFTA award winning Freddie Flintoff’s Field of Dreams (BBC1), The Man Who Bought Cricket (Sky Docs) and Football Dreams: The Academy (C4).
Ian Brown, CEO at Flutter UKI, said: “We are delighted to announce the forthcoming horse racing documentary series in conjunction with ITV and RMG. This is an idea we’ve promoted for some time and we are hugely excited to be bringing the inner story of horse racing, and all the wonderful people who support it to a new and broader audience through a prime time slot on ITV1.
“In line with a key pillar of our Positive Impact Plan, this is also another great example of Flutter supporting the communities we operate within to ‘Do More’. We have long supported the horse racing industry – investing over £140m into UK racing in 2022 alone – and are committed to working together with all racing stakeholders to support and modernise this unique and enthralling sport through initiatives like this brilliant new series.”
Julie Harrington, Chief Executive at BHA Chief Executive, said: “This is an extremely exciting development for the sport. The industry’s strategy is all about reaching new audiences and showing them the brilliance of our sport, while at the same time making racing more interesting and engaging for our current fans. There promises to be a little bit of something for everyone in this new programme. We’re proud of our sport and all it stands for, and anything that brings the passion and excitement of racing and the characters who work in it into people’s homes can only be a good thing.”
Simon Daglish, Deputy Managing Director, Commercial, at ITV said: "Racing drives an enormous amount of passion and excitement among ITV viewers as we know from our unrivalled coverage. This new series is a fantastic chance to build on that excitement and bring this adrenaline filled sport to a new audience. We are delighted to be working with the racing community to showcase racing in a way that has never been seen before."
Martin Stevenson, CEO at RMG, said: “We firmly believe that a docuseries like this on a major channel can significantly help grow participation in the sport. We are very grateful to Flutter for its invaluable support in making the series possible and ITV’s wholehearted support. ITV has been a fantastic partner for Racing and this docuseries is further evidence of its commitment to the sport.”
Melanie Leach, Joint CEO of South Shore, said: “The dedication, determination and bravery in British horse racing is the stuff of legend – reputations are won and lost in the blink of an eye. We couldn’t be more excited to tell the story of the fight between the heroes and heroines of this incredible sport as they race their way to the winning line.”
Paul Johnson, CEO at the National Trainers Federation, said: “This is a simply brilliant initiative for the sport and highlights how fortunate we are to work with such a supportive broadcaster in ITV. We have no doubt that getting to know some of Racing’s characters and their day-to-day stories will help showcase our sport in a way that we have not seen before.”
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