Julian Richmond-Watson's tenure as Senior Steward extended

20th December 2006

Ian Balding, Trevor Hemmings and Ben Sangster included among seven newly elected Members of the Jockey Club.


At today's meeting of the Jockey Club, the Members approved a proposal to extend Julian Richmond-Watson's appointment as Senior Steward by two years until 30th June 2009.


Bearing in mind the current delays and degree of uncertainty over racing's future structure and financing, the Stewards of the Jockey Club asked the Members to endorse the re-election of Julian Richmond-Watson as Senior Steward in order that he may continue to steer the Club through the transition from its traditional regulatory focus to a more commercial orientation where the emphasis will be on its racecourse group and its portfolio of training grounds and property.


At the meeting it was also confirmed that the Duke of Roxburghe would begin a three year term as a Steward of the Jockey Club from January 2007. He replaces Andrew Merriam who stands down after three years service as a Steward.


Seven new Members of the Jockey Club were elected at the meeting. Former trainer Ian Balding and leading owner Trevor Hemmings were among the three Honorary Members elected, while Ben Sangster followed in the footsteps of his late father Robert when he was confirmed as one of four new ‘Ordinary' Members of the Jockey Club.


Stewards of The Jockey Club - 2007 Julian Richmond-Watson Senior Steward Sir Michael Connell Deputy Senior Steward The Duke of Roxburghe Jeff Smith Bill Whittle Nicholas Wrigley.


The following were elected Honorary Members of the Jockey Club at a meeting of the Jockey Club on 11th December:


Ian Balding, 68, was a licensed trainer from 1964 to 2002 and was responsible for training a succession of top class horses from Park House Stables, Kingsclere before handing over the reins to his son Andrew. His most notable triumphs came as a consequence of his handling of Mill Reef who in 1971 became the only horse to win the Derby, the Eclipse, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in the same season.


Ian enjoyed success at both Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham Festival, and other top horses in his care included Mrs Penny, Glint of Gold, Forest Flower, Selkirk, Crystal Spirit and the remarkable sprinter Lochsong. His patrons included Paul Mellon, George Strawbridge, Sheikh Mohammed and Her Majesty The Queen.


Ian Balding has also worked tirelessly on behalf of the National Trainers Federation, serving as the NTF representative on both the Race Planning Committee and Industry Committee. He has also acted as Chairman of the NTF Council, their Flat Committee and the NTF Thames Valley Region.


Sir Edward Cazalet, 70, is a former High Court Judge who on retirement in 2000 became the first independent Chairman of the Jockey Club's Appeal Board. He stood down from this role in 2006. After qualifying as a barrister in 1960, Sir Edward was for many years the Jockey Club's counsel prior to becoming a High Court Judge.


Sir Edward has strong family connections to racing and he has maintained a close interest throughout his life, being a distinguished amateur rider during the 1950's and 1960's. Additionally, Sir Edward was Chairman of the Levy Board Appeal Tribunal for eleven years. He has been Chairman of the Injured Jockeys' Fund since 2002, prior to which he was a trustee since 1987.


Trevor Hemmings, 71, became a racehorse owner in 1984 and currently has over 60 National Hunt horses in training with fourteen different trainers in the UK and Ireland. He is the proprietor of Gleadhill Stud in Lancashire and the owner of Hedgehunter, the 2005 Grand National Winner and runner-up in the 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Other notable horses to have run in his colours include Chives, Artic Jack, Trabolgan, The Last Fling and Rubika.


Trevor started out with a building business in Lancashire before moving into leisure, pubs and property. He bought Blackpool Tower in 1998 and the Littlewoods pools operation two years later. He also owns a substantial pub estate and a large shareholding in Scottish and Newcastle.


He is the largest shareholder in Arena Leisure, which owns seven racecourses including Lingfield, Doncaster and Windsor. The following were elected Ordinary Members of the Jockey Club at a meeting of the Jockey Club on 11th December:


Colin 'Bud' Booth, 60, is the Chairman of Market Rasen Racecourse, a position he has held since 1996, as well as a Director at Nottingham, both of which are part of the Jockey Club's racecourse group.


Since 1974, Bud has been an owner of Jump and Flat horses. He has three horses in training with Oliver Sherwood and currently owns one broodmare. He has also acted as a racecourse steward at Doncaster.


He is the managing Director of Colin Booth Group, a holding company for a variety of businesses in Lincolnshire.


Ben Sangster, 43, is currently responsible for overseeing the training establishment Manton Estates and the breeding operation Swettenham Stud.


He has extensive owning and breeding interests in the UK, Ireland, America and Australia. He has an interest in twenty-seven horses in training, based with Brian Meehan, Gerard Butler, Barry Hills, Michael Bell, and Mick Channon among others.


Son of the late Robert Sangster, Ben is also a patron of the Moorcroft Racing Welfare Centre, a charitable centre for recently retired racehorses based in West Sussex.


Diana Williams, 56, formerly a successful amateur rider, Diana served as Chairman of the Lady Jockeys' Association for eight years. Diana had her first winner at Thirsk in 1974 and subsequently became a leading lady rider. As an owner she has had horses in training with Tom George, Reg Hollinshead, Pat Rohan and her late father, John Bissell. She currently has no horses in training but she breeds from her own small string of broodmares.


She has also acted as a racecourse steward at Haydock, Worcester, Ludlow, and Wolverhampton.


Dr. Catherine Wills, 56, a registered owner since 1993, Catherine took over the racing interests of her father, Sir David Wills, on his death in 1999. She owns eighteen broodmares, which reside at St. Clare Hall Stud and in Lexington, Kentucky.


Catherine currently has horses in training in the UK and the USA with Sir Mark Prescott, Henry Cecil, James Fanshawe and Christophe Clement. Her most notable horses include Craigsteel, runner up in the 2000 Turf Classic at Belmont Park, and Dynever, the winner of San Bernardino Handicap at Santa Anita.


She was instrumental in setting up the annual Martin Wills Memorial Trust writing award, in memory of her brother Martin, a former amateur rider and journalist who died in 1992. Catherine is an art history graduate of the Courtauld Institute and her current interests include farming and the bloodstock industry.


Notes for Editors:


1. The Jockey Club - In accordance with the objects of the Club as laid out in its Royal Charter, the Jockey Club intends to continue to use its influence and assets to further the interests of horseracing. Shortly to transfer its regulatory function to BHA, the Jockey Club is now focusing on overseeing the development of its commercial activities. All profits generated by its commercial interests are invested in racing.


2. Jockey Club Racecourses, to be formally launched in January 2007 and currently known as Racecourse Holdings Trust, is a subsidiary of the Jockey Club responsible for the ownership and operation of a diversified portfolio of 13 racecourses. The group is responsible for staging four of the five classics, as well as the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree Grand National.


3. Jockey Club Estates is the Club's property and land management company responsible for the management and administration of over 5000 acres of land in and around the training centres of Newmarket and Lambourn, as well as an extensive property portfolio, including the Jockey Club Rooms.


4. The registered charity Racing Welfare is a company limited by guarantee with the Jockey Club being the sole member. It was formed in 2001 by the amalgamation of The Stable Lads Welfare Trust, the Jockey Club Charitable Trust and the Racing Welfare Charities. The principal objective of Racing Welfare is to provide help to those in need who work, or have worked in the Thoroughbred industry and their dependents.


5. There are 20 Honorary and 126 Ordinary Members of the Jockey Club. Honorary Members are not eligible to hold any office or official appointment within the Jockey Club.