Julia Budd will succeed Anthony Cane as chairman of Epsom Downs Racecourse, the course's owner, The Jockey Club, announced today.
The appointment will come into effect following the next Investec Derby Festival in June 2016, when Anthony Cane's term concludes.
Julia Budd is a founding Partner of leading international search firm, The Zygos Partnership, where she specialises in chairman, CEO and non-executive director searches and board succession planning. She is also a member of the Government’s Professional and Business Services Council. Previously she ran the Board Practice at executive search firm Egon Zehnder International, focusing on chairman and non-executive director appointments.
Julia Budd is a 'Steward' (non-executive director) on the main board of The Jockey Club, currently a racecourse committee director at Epsom Downs and a trustee of the British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust (BHEST). She was elected a Member of The Jockey Club in 2008.
She has been a member of racing syndicate Highclere since it was formed, which has included having an interest in three runners in The Investec Derby (Housemaster, Regime and Bonfire) and Vow who contested The Investec Oaks. She has recently invested in a horse in training with local Epsom trainer, Pat Phelan. She also has interests in Jumps horses in training with Philip Hobbs, Mick Easterby and Oliver Sherwood.
Anthony Cane has been the chairman of Epsom Downs Racecourse since 2008. During this time he has played an important role in the successful completion and opening of the Duchess's Stand and hotel development, helped to secure Investec as a loyal and proactive partner, and subsequently their 10-year extension through until 2021, and ensured The Investec Derby remains the richest race in Britain with a prize fund that has risen to £1.325 million (2015).
Announcing the appointment, Roger Weatherby, Senior Steward of The Jockey Club, said: “I am delighted that Julia has agreed to become the chairman at Epsom Downs after next year’s Investec Derby Festival. Currently she is an active member of the racecourse’s committee and makes an invaluable contribution to The Jockey Club as a Steward. She will play an important role building on the progress the course has made under Anthony Cane’s excellent chairmanship since 2008.”
Julia Budd said: “It will be a privilege to succeed Anthony at Epsom Downs, home of the greatest Flat race in the world and the ultimate test of the Thoroughbred. I look forward to working with The Jockey Club team at the course and my fellow racecourse committee directors to ensure we continue to play an important role not only in our sport, but in the local community and in support of the training centre.”
Anthony Cane said: “I have known Julia for many years and it will be my honour to pass on the baton to her. My final season as chairman is one I am looking forward to greatly because I believe it will culminate in a very special Investec Derby Festival. I will save my goodbyes until next June, but I have been tremendously fortunate to be here for Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and what a treat in my first year as chairman for Look Here to win The Oaks for my great friend Julian Richmond-Watson. It remains a privilege to work with Bernard Kantor and his Investec team and we will work hard to repay their support in 2016.”
About Epsom Downs Racecourse & The Investec Derby Festival
Epsom Downs Racecourse is situated on the North Downs in Surrey, just 15 miles from central London. Epsom is a historic training centre and home to a significant number of racing stables. The racecourse is the venue for the most famous Flat race in the world, the Group One Investec Derby, which takes place on the first Saturday in June every year. With a history dating back to 1780, the roll of honour for the premier British Classic is studded with the names of the greatest horses to have graced the English turf.
The Investec Derby Festival also features the Investec Oaks and the Investec Coronation Cup, both also run over the Derby course of one mile, four furlongs and 10 yards, for fillies and older horses respectively. The Investec Derby and Investec Oaks, two of the five British Classics, are for three-year-olds, with the former open to colts and fillies and the latter to fillies.
Investec started backing the Investec Derby Festival in 2009 and three years later announced the extension of the sponsorship for a further 10 years up to and including 2021. The 2016 Investec Derby Festival is staged on Friday and Saturday, June 3 & 4, while the 2017 dates are June 2 & 3. More information is available at www.epsomdowns.co.uk.
Epsom Downs Racecourse is part of The Jockey Club, which has been at the heart of British racing for more than 260 years. Today the largest commercial group in the sport, The Jockey Club runs the largest racecourse group in the UK by turnover (2014: £162.9m), courses (15) including those at Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket, attendances (2014: 1.8m), total prize money (2014: £43.7m), contribution to prize money (2014: £19.1m) and quality racing (Group and Graded races); more than 3,000 acres of world-class training grounds in Newmarket, Lambourn and Epsom Downs; The National Stud breeding enterprise and education provider; and the charity for racing's people in need, Racing Welfare. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny The Jockey Club makes it puts back into British racing. More information is available at www.thejockeyclub.co.uk.