Simon Bazalgette appointed to new post of Jockey Club Chief Executive
The Jockey Club is pleased to announce that Simon Bazalgette has been appointed Chief Executive of The Jockey Club.
Simon Bazalgette, 46, is currently Executive Chairman of Racing UK, the media rights management company and TV channel owned by 30 British racecourses, and Chairman of Racecourse Media Services, the vehicle by which 31 racecourses manage their 50% stake in Turf TV.
The Chief Executive of the Jockey Club is a new role, reporting directly to the main board of Jockey Club Stewards. The appointment reflects the intention of The Jockey Club to become more directly involved in the management of its commercial assets since the divestment of its regulation and governance responsibilities was completed in 2007.
It is expected that Simon Bazalgette will take up the role in September. Andrew Gould, who is to be appointed to the new position of Group Finance Director for The Jockey Club, will in the meantime continue as Acting Chief Executive of Jockey Club Racecourses.
Simon Bazalgette's responsibilities as Chief Executive of The Jockey Club will include chairing the Board of Jockey Club Racecourses, ensuring maximum value is obtained from the group's commercial and media rights, promoting the role of The Jockey Club in the public arena and developing relationships with key players in the racing and betting industries. The Jockey Club family is comprised of 14 racecourses, among them Cheltenham, Aintree, Newmarket and Epsom Downs, as well as 5,000 acres of land around Newmarket and Lambourn, including the National Stud. Jockey Club Racecourses is the largest shareholder in Racing UK and the largest racecourse shareholder in Turf TV.
Julian Richmond-Watson, Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, said: "Simon was the outstanding candidate for the role. He is an experienced Chairman and Chief Executive, with strong financial and strategic skills. During his time with Racing UK he has repeatedly demonstrated his understanding of racing's own complexities as well as his extensive skills in stakeholder management. With a track record of success in a range of sectors, including racing, Simon can lead The Jockey Club forward to enable it to fulfil its commercial potential, thereby increasing its contribution to the sport."
Simon Bazalgette said: "I am delighted to have been offered this exciting opportunity. I believe that this new position will effectively be the leading commercial role in British racing. In addition to its commercial responsibilities, The Jockey Club continues to play a unifying role in racing, and I look forward to working closely with the key stakeholders to help secure the sport's health and prosperity going forward."
Andrew Gould added: "I am very pleased that Simon has been appointed Chief Executive of The Jockey Club. In the four years since the birth of Racing UK, Simon and I have worked closely together and we have established an excellent working relationship. I am looking forward to working with him in our respective new roles and to an exciting future for The Jockey Club."
Previously a Founder Director and Chief Executive of Music Choice Europe plc, Simon Bazalgette joined Racing UK at its inception in May 2004. Racing UK has now expanded to six business units, all start up operations which have successfully generated profits and value for its racecourse shareholders. Turf TV, of which Bazalgette is also Founder Director, is a sister channel successfully launched in 2007 providing coverage from 31 British racecourses to over 8,500 betting shops.
In March Simon Bazalgette announced that he would become the Non-Executive Chairman of Racing UK and the company is currently in the process of recruiting a Chief Executive.
Notes for Editors:
1. Founded over 250 years ago, The Jockey Club remains at the heart of British racing. The Club is now focusing on its commercial activities. All profits generated by the businesses are re-invested back into racing. The Jockey Club 'family' is comprised of:
a) Jockey Club Racecourses - a diverse portfolio of 14 racecourses, it is the largest shareholder in Racing UK and the largest racecourse shareholder in Turf TV. Jockey Club Racecourses stage four of the five Classics as well as the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree Grand National meeting.
b) Jockey Club Estates - a property and land management company responsible for over 5000 acres of land in and around the training centres of Newmarket and Lambourn, providing training facilities for around 3,000 horses, and an extensive portfolio of 90 properties, including the Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket.
c) The National Stud - recently acquired from the State, a purpose designed stud on 500 acres at Newmarket, standing six stallions and accommodating over 300 mares at the height of the breeding season. The Stud is committed to providing education and training for stud staff as well as other services to the thoroughbred breeding industry and continued public access.
d) Racing Welfare -The Jockey Club charity helping those who work or have worked in the racing and breeding industry.
2. The Chief Executive will report to the main Board of Jockey Club Stewards. The current Jockey Club Stewards are:
Julian Richmond-Watson, Senior Steward
Sir Michael Connell, Deputy Senior Steward
Sir Ian Good
The Duke of Roxburghe