Julie Harrington stepping down as BHA Chief Executive by end of 2024

Harrington has been in the role for four years. 

Julie Harrington
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The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Chief Executive Julie Harrington has announced she will be stepping down from her position at the end of 2024. 

Harrington has held the role of Chief Executive for four years, having previously been the CEO at British Cycling and the Group Operations Director at the FA. 

During her time with the BHA, there has been a lot of change within the authority itself, as well as the wider horseracing industry, including a new governance structure, the introduction of the Horseracing Industry People Board, among many other things. 

This announcement also comes after recent changes in affordability checks in the UK, which has been a topic of discussion and concern for the horseracing industry, something Harrington herself commented on back in May

The BHA has highlighted that it will soon be appointing executive search specialists to oversee the recruitment process to find a replacement for Harrington. 

Alongside Harrington stepping down from her role, Joe Saumarez Smith will be stepping down from his role as Chair of the BHA in May 2025, with the recruitment process for his replacement starting last month. 

Harrington gave some thoughts after her decision to step down: “With so much now in place to develop and grow the Industry Strategy, which will secure a brighter future for British horseracing, it felt like the right time to move on and let someone else steer the sport through its next exciting phase. 

“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." 

In other personnel news today, Boyd Gaming Corporation has announced the appointment of Michael A. Hartmeier to its Board of Directors. 

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