The regulatory bodies of Swedish horseracing have agreed to test a new ‘V64 Xpress’ competition format in order to rekindle interest in the winter schedule of Swedish trotting.
Svensk Travsport, the governing body of Swedish trotting, will begin testing its new V64 Xpress competition format on September 17th, staging simultaneous back-to-back trotting races at two ATG racetrack venues.
Svensk Travsport and ATG have agreed to test the V64 competition format for a 13-week period, with the dual races taking place on Fridays and being aired live.
Reducing fixture intervals
Svensk Travsport will use the V64 idea to reduce fixture intervals to 11 minutes, allowing for more trotting race coverage for Friday viewers checking in to ATG races from 8:30 p.m.
Svensk Travsport collaborated with ATG on the new design to drastically reduce the breaks and intervals that previously delayed team trotting events, negatively damaging the sport’s appeal to a broader audience.
Svensk Travsport informed trotting team owners that the new competition would have no affect on qualification races, which would continue to follow a traditional pattern during the daytime schedule.
Keeping up the national interest
Svensk Travsport’s acting sports manager, Per Wetterholm said: “We need to try new things to keep up the national interest in the trotting sport, and this is a small part of it. The competitions on Fridays are not really much affected. It is about the same race and schedule as usual on both evening courses, and for the first two hours the course audience focuses only on home course competitions.
“But at 20:30 the game for V64 starts where the teams are picked up from two courses instead of just one. Together with our business partner ATG, we want to test what advantages and disadvantages it could entail.”