Owners Plan: A strategic priority for France Galop

27 March 2024

Logo France Galop

Developing racehorse ownership to increase the number of horses in training 

Boosting the number and activity of racehorse owners is one of the priorities of Guillaume de Saint-Seine’s term as president of France Galop. With this in mind, France Galop’s Marketing Committee, whose chairman is Charles-Hubert de Chaudenay, along with the Sales, Marketing and Operations Department run by Delphine Violette, was asked to set out the specific measures of the Owners Plan for the next two years. This initiative follows on from the study led by Frank Walter in 2023 about the situation and expectations of racehorse owners in France.

The Owners Plan was approved by the Board of Directors during a special meeting held on 15th March, then was presented to the Committee on 25th March. The plan puts forward 50 initiatives with the aim, over the short term, to increase the number of horses in training and, over the medium term, to contribute to the goal of getting 10,000 horses in training. Although the number of active owners has increased by 600 in the last three years, the number of horses in training, and therefore the number of runners, has gone down. This has a knock-on effect on betting and financing within the industry.  

This situation is due to the fact that a number of new owners opt for shared ownership. Though some of them go on to have their own colours, there are fewer owners that own their horses outright, and even fewer that own more than 20 horses (this number has halved over the last 10 years). The plan’s initiatives focus on two main axes: the client experience and development. It specifically aims to increase the community of racehorse owners by 1,000 people by the end of 2026. 

“The members of the Marketing Committee have developed, along with the Marketing Department, a pragmatic approach when drawing up this Owners Plan, to stringently monitor the initiatives that will be rolled out over the next two years,” explained Charles-Hubert de Chaudenay, chairman of the Marketing Committee. “We would like to promote racehorse ownership in all its forms and support the racing industry by helping to increase the number of horses in training in France. We are confident about the positive effects that this plan will have over the medium term.” 

Elie Hennau, who will become Director General of France Galop on 15th April, announced, “Given the strategic issues put forward by the Owners Plan, I would like to get involved in the Marking Committee’s project immediately, before I officially step into my role. I have great ambitions for this strategic plan as I take on this new position, as it is the fruit of a collaboration between racing’s stakeholders and France Galop’s staff.”

Plan Propriétaires 2024

Fifty measures designed to increase loyalty and market research  

The initiatives focus on two main axes: the client experience and development. The first, short-term measures include: 

- Creating an Owners’ Department, merging the FRBC and staff from the Racing Stakeholders’ Department, which will be managed by Marie Rohaut. This new department, operating under the France Galop brand, will be in charge of: 
. Client relations, with a large team to guide owners throughout the approval process and the various administrative steps, and welcome them on the racecourse; 
. Scouting for new owners in all regions of France and abroad.   
- Upgrading the services offered to owners on France Galop’s racecourses, namely the reception and catering offered in the owners’ lounges, to enrich the owner experience on race days; 
- Setting up training courses for new owners, with special events held on the racecourse or webinars to help them navigate racehorse ownership;  
- Stepping up market research at local level, carried out or supported by France Galop;
- Scouting for new owners abroad, to recruit new “major” owners;
- Developing a network of ambassadors among current owners, who are tasked with promoting racehorse ownership to people in their network, with the support of France Galop. 

Over the next two years, France Galop’s staff, led by the new Director General Elie Hennau, will be fully committed to implementing and monitoring this plan. Progress reports will regularly be shared with the members of the Marketing Committee, the Board of Directors and the Committee.  

Composition of the workgroup for the Owners Plan: 

- France Galop Marketing Committee: 
Chairman: Charles-Hubert de Chaudenay
Axelle Nègre de Watrigant
Patrick Klein
Pauline Chehboub
Xavier De Moulins

- France Galop Marketing Department:
Project manager: Delphine Violette, Sales and Marketing Director 
Members of the Owners’ and Racing Stakeholders’ Department, including: 
Marie Rohaut
Guillaume Vogel
Sophie Bienvenu
Louise Puech
Charlotte Rimaud
Raphaël Naquet
Esther Gonnin