Jockey Club Racecourses and BHA announce CEOs to step down

15 Jan 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

Jockey Club Racecourses (JCR), the racecourse arm of The Jockey Club, and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) have both confirmed that their CEOs are to stand down this year.

JCR's CEO Paul Fisher will stand down in February, having joined the organisation in 2001 as Finance Director of its three London racecourses.

He was promoted to the role of Managing Director, Kempton Park in 2005 before becoming JCR’s COO in 2008. He was appointed as the organisation's Managing Director in 2013 and then as its CEO in 2017.

He said: “After 19 fantastic years at The Jockey Club, and more than ten of those running Jockey Club Racecourses, I’ve decided it’s time for a fresh challenge. I’m proud of the commercial growth, record prize money contributions and significant improvements to our facilities and the overall customer experience we’ve been able to deliver around the country at our courses, large and small.
“I’ve also really enjoyed introducing a range of innovations and launching successful ventures, such as Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Services, Jockey Club Live and Rewards4Racing, as well as our Racecourse Bond that attracted £25 million of investment from racing fans and enabled us to successfully redevelop Cheltenham.
“But most of all I’m proud of how we’ve developed so many talented people, including through the Management Academy I introduced, and the positive culture we’ve built together. I wish them all the very best.”

Delia Bushell, Group Chief Executive of The Jockey Club, said: “Paul has led an outstanding period of commercial growth and raised the bar on our Jockey Club Racecourses’ quality of service. I would like to thank him for his leadership, energy and the passion he has shown for racing in every aspect of our business. He can be very proud of what he’s helped to achieve, and I wish him every success in the future.”

Meanwhile, BHA Chief Executive Nick Rust will step down at the end of 2020 after almost six years at the helm of British racing’s governing body and regulator.

Rust said in a departure message to staff: “I’ve spent much of the past year reflecting on my situation after my personal bereavement at the end of 2018. I wanted to let you and the BHA know my decision and plans well ahead of leaving to allow plenty of time for a successor to be identified and appointed.

“There’s always more to do and racing faces its share of challenges as any sport or business does. The job’s never done. But my successor can look forward to the support of a top-class Chair and an expert Board, a capable and excellent team and an industry that when it comes together and works in a collaborative way can be highly effective.

“2020 promises to be a great year for British racing. I believe we can achieve many more things together this year if we continue to focus on a progressive approach that keeps British racing relevant, understood and accepted.”

The BHA will begin the process of selecting a new Chief Executive in the coming weeks.