New Jockey Club senior steward urges industry collaboration

12 July 2019

Sandy Dudgeon, newly appointed senior steward of UK commercial horse racing organisation The Jockey Club, has issued a call for greater collaboration among stakeholders and interested parties to help the sport overcome challenges and make the most of growth opportunities.

Dudgeon, who replaces Roger Weatherby in the role, will serve a five-year term and chair the Jockey Club’s main board, which sets the strategic direction of the organisation and oversees all executive functions.

A former amateur jockey, Dudgeon was appointed to the Jockey Club’s board of stewards in December 2017, having previously been a steward between 2009 and 2012, and was first elected as a member of the Jockey Club in 1989.

Setting out his vision for the organisation, Dudgeon has said that he is keen to work with all stakeholders and interested parties to establish the best way forward for both the Jockey Club and horse racing as a whole.

“We have many opportunities to grow our sport’s appeal and financial sustainability for all, while recognising we face some real challenges,” Dudgeon said.

“I think we need to address the various levels of trust that seem to exist amongst stakeholders in order to move forward. Now surely is the time for everyone to come together, respect each other’s views and work collaboratively to achieve long-term prosperity.

“We must listen to the diverse range of viewpoints in seeking the best outcomes for our sport. Then once a decision is made we all need to get behind it to achieve the best chance of success.”

Dudgeon will have support from deputy senior steward, Julia Budd, as well as other members of the Jockey Club’s board of stewards: Justin Dowley, Baroness Harding, The Hon Rose Paterson, The Hon Peter Stanley and James Westoll.

The appointment is the second change in senior staff at the Jockey Club in recent months, with group chief executive Simon Bazalgette in May confirming that he will leave his position by the end of 2019.

Bazalgette’s announcement came after the Jockey Club in April reported a 6.7% year-on-year increase in revenue to £214.6m (€238.8m/$268.0m) for 2018 – a tenth consecutive year of commercial growth for the organisation, which owns 15 racetracks including Aintree, Cheltenham and Epsom Downs.

Image: Paul