Channel 4 has negotiated a four-year deal to broadcast the Grand National, Derby and Royal Ascot from 2013 - making it the exclusive broadcaster of British racing on terrestrial television.
The BBC put in as "competitive a bid as possible" to maintain the rights but lost out .
Jamie Aitchison, Channel 4 sports editor, said: "This is an opportunity for us to work together to grow the sport, painting the full picture of both the flat and jumps seasons to attract new viewers whilst rewarding those loyal viewers we value so highly."
The BBC’s director of sport, Barbara Slater, said: "The BBC are proud of their long heritage of broadcasting horse racing and put in as competitive a bid as possible in the current climate.
“Our coverage this year will mark the end of a partnership covering some of the key events of British racing that extends over 50 years.
"We are of course disappointed that we have lost the rights, but we are pleased that all the races in the contract remain free to air."
This year's Grand National on April 14, together with the Derby and Royal Ascot in June will be screened on the BBC.
Radio rights for racing remain the subject of continuing negotiations.