The Qatari Royal Family is cutting back on racing sponsorship amid economic uncertainty posed by Covid-19.
UK.- The Qatari Royal family’s investment vehicle, Qipco Holding, is cutting back on horse racing sponsorship amid the Coronavirus pandemic, but says it remains committed to British racing.
Qipco has ended its sponsorship of the French Derby and the Irish Champion Stakes amid an uncertain economic climate.
It will also strip back its branding at British racecourses, but will continue to provide prize money for Champions Day at Ascot and preceding group races.
David Redvers, Racing Manager to Qatar’s Sheikh Fahad, told The Guardian newspaper: “This year, seeing the way the world is going, everybody has got to be much more frugal and efficient in the manner in which they spend their money.”
He added: “This isn’t about a reduction, it’s about sustainability. There’s been some fantastic positives to come out of Qipco’s sponsorship, not least that the average age of the racegoers going to Champions Day has been falling, year on year.”
Qipco has been the title sponsor of British Champions Day since its debut in 2011. The agreement to provide prize money is currently set to continue until 2024 and Redvers has confirmed that it remains in place.
But Qipco is dropping its sponsorship of Ireland’s most important Flat race at Leopardstown, the Irish Champion Stakes and the French Derby.
Horse racing in the UK, Ireland and France remains suspended due to Covid-19 preventative measures, but France has announced plans to restart racing without spectators from May 11.