BHA CEO to step down at the end of the year

Estimated read time 3 min read

Julie Harrington calls time on spell leading horseracing governing body as chair praises her as a “fantastic chief executive”
The post BHA CEO to step down at the end of the year first appeared on EGR Intel.  

British Horseracing Authority (BHA) CEO Julie Harrington will step down at the end of the year after four years of leading the sport’s governing body.

Harrington joined the BHA on 4 January 2021, with her appointment announced in October 2020, to replace Nick Rust.

The former British Cycling and Football Association exec said it was the “right time to move on” and allow a fresh face to “steer the sport through its next exciting phase”.

Harrington added that she had informed the BHA’s nomination committee to give the body enough time to plan an “orderly handover”.

That handover includes BHA chair Joe Saumarez Smith stepping down in May 2025, with the recruitment process for his replacement having started last month.

Saumarez Smith’s eventual successor will play a role in the final stages of selecting a new CEO to replace Harrington.

Last June, Saumarez Smith confirmed he would remain as BHA chair despite his cancer diagnosis, having held the position since June 2022.

Harrington said: “It has been a huge privilege to lead the BHA during what has been a period of real change as the sport has developed and implemented shared strategies for a sustainable future, and an ability to speak with one united voice.

“I love working in horseracing, it is an amazing sport to be involved in. I will always be a fan and you can expect to see me at the races in the years ahead.

“I am proud of the progress the industry has made over the past three years, especially in improving the governance structure, and I hope that racing’s stakeholders will continue to work together cooperatively to attract new audiences, further improve the customer experience and grow the sport.

“I am confident that if the sport continues to foster the sense of unity and shared purpose that we have developed over the past few years then great things can be achieved,” she added.

Saumarez Smith praised Harrington for being a “fantastic” CEO before remarking she would be “difficult to replace” as he heaped praise on her efforts.

He said: “Four years at the top of any sport demands total focus, concentration and enormous amounts of energy and Julie has delivered all of these, in what at times has been a challenging stakeholder and political environment.

“I, and the BHA board, fully understand why she has taken this decision now and wish her every success in her future roles,” the chair added.

Arnold Ash is EGR’s Executive Recruitment Partner. They support ambitious organisations to identify and attract industry leading executive talent. Find out more here.

The post BHA CEO to step down at the end of the year first appeared on EGR Intel.


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