Channel 4 Racing star new Chief Executive of Racing Welfare

16th October 2012

Racing Welfare, The Jockey Club's charity for racing's people in need, has appointed Lesley Graham as its next Chief Executive.

Lesley Graham, best known as a Channel 4 Racing presenter, has had a long and consistent association with horseracing. She became the first female presenter of the sport in 1993 but had attended race meetings with her parents at her local course in Bangor on Dee since she was three years old. She will succeed Cedric Burton OBE on his retirement at the end of the year.

Prior to her television career, she trained as a corporate lawyer, spending a number of years in practice including establishing Hewitson Becke and Shaw’s Newmarket bloodstock department. She was a founder member of the BHB’s Ownership Marketing Group, a Board Member at the National Stud and has been running the Racing for Change Media Training Programme since 2010.

Lesley Graham said:

“I am really excited by the prospect of returning to the charitable sector. I worked for many years with the Animal Health Trust and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers. Racing Welfare provides an absolutely vital source of support to all those upon whom our sport depends. They are the backbone of the sport and I have no doubt that, despite the current economic circumstances, racing will ensure that the charity continues to meet its aims and expand its activities.”

Chairman of Racing Welfare, Joey Newton, is looking for his new Chief Executive to enhance the channels of communication between Racing Welfare and the racing industry:

“Lesley clearly has a huge amount of experience and I have no doubt she will dedicate herself to the task of implementing the changes necessary to secure our future successes.”

He paid tribute to Cedric Burton: “In his nine years as Chief Executive, Cedric has taken our welfare services to many more people in need, implemented a new level of professionalism in the welfare service and increased substantially the charity’s housing provision for the elderly and young people. We are hugely grateful and wish him well in his retirement.”