Baroness Dido Harding to assume chair position for organisation’s main board from next summer
The Jockey Club has named Baroness Dido Harding as the group’s senior steward, making her the first woman to hold the role in the organisation’s near-300-year history.
Baroness Harding will replace the current senior steward, Sandy Dudgeon, when his five-year term comes to an end in July.
Baroness Harding, who first joined the Jockey Club’s board of stewards in 2017, has hit the headlines in recent years due to her role in Britain’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The businesswoman was named head of the NHS’ Test and Trace programme in May 2020, with the scheme facing criticism for its lack of effectiveness and large level of expenditure.
The former TalkTalk CEO will chair The Jockey Club’s main board, which is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the organisation.
Baroness Harding, herself an amateur jockey, also had spells with Sainsbury’s and Tesco in her career.
Speaking on her new role, Baroness Harding said: “As a lifelong racing enthusiast, it is a huge privilege to be appointed senior steward.
“The Jockey Club holds a unique position to both protect the sport’s heritage and tradition and also to innovate to attract and delight racegoers of the future to ensure horseracing can thrive for generations to come,” she added.
Dudgeon commented: “Dido has been a terrific asset to the board of stewards since she joined in 2017. She has brought a wealth of experience, deep knowledge of the industry and a lifelong enthusiasm for our sport.
“I would like to wish her every success as senior steward when she takes up the role in July next year.”
Elsewhere, The Jockey Club CEO Nevin Truesdale’s petition to halt the implementation of affordability checks recently passed the 100,000 signatures mark.
That threshold being broken could see the topic debated in the House of Commons.
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