Former BT Sport and Sky executive, Delia Bushell, has been appointed as Group Chief Executive of The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British horseracing, which runs The Cheltenham Festival presented by Magners, the Randox Health Grand National and The Investec Derby Festival.
One of the leading executives in media and sport, Delia has more than 20 years’ experience in the sector in both executive and non-executive roles. She spent three years at BT Group plc as Managing Director of its c.£1bn TV and Sport division, overseeing BT’s Sport channels, Pay TV platform and digital services, including the acquisition of premium sports and entertainment rights, such as the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Premiership Rugby, FA Cup, MotoGP and The Ashes.
Prior to this, Delia spent 14 years at Sky in a variety of roles. She was Chief Commercial Officer of Sky Italia, leading marketing, customer management and digital development for its €2.7bn consumer business; Director of Broadband & Telephony for Sky UK, taking Sky’s Broadband service from launch to three million customers; and Managing Director for Sky Ireland. Most recently Delia was UK CEO and European COO at Afiniti, a US tech company that is a leader in artificial intelligence.
She is also a non-executive director of the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and of Commonwealth Games England, and is on the Advisory Board of The Telegraph Media Group. She holds an MA in Modern History and an MPhil in International Relations from Oxford University and is passionate about encouraging female participation in sport.
Delia will join in early September and, following a period of handover, succeed current Group Chief Executive Simon Bazalgette when he stands down in October.
The Jockey Club, with head offices in Holborn, London, stages thousands of events at its 15-strong Jockey Club Racecourses arm, which includes Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket racecourses. The group also operates 5,000 acres of public racehorse training grounds at Newmarket, Lambourn and Epsom Downs, The National Stud in Newmarket, the historic Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket and is the sole shareholder in racing charity, Racing Welfare. The Group is run for the benefit of racing, with all profits reinvested.
Delia Bushell said:
“I’m excited and honoured to lead this iconic institution. Racing is such an important part of British national life and I’m looking forward to working with the talented team at The Jockey Club and wider industry stakeholders to drive its future success. The years to come will be critical for the sport, as we embrace the opportunities and challenges of innovating for fans and racegoers, appealing to new and more diverse audiences, broadening revenue streams, and driving inward investment. I’m looking forward to immersing myself fully into the world of racing and using my wider experience in sport and media to help deliver these goals.”
Sandy Dudgeon, Senior Steward of The Jockey Club, said:
“With Delia’s experience at the top of media, sport, technology and business management, we are delighted she will join us as our new Group Chief Executive. The Jockey Club has a talented team in place, so we needed to make a first-class appointment to lead the group. Over the months and years ahead under Delia’s leadership I am confident The Jockey Club will go from strength-to-strength in order to benefit our sport.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Simon Bazalgette for all he has done for The Jockey Club and our sport over his 11-year tenure. His leadership helped us to grow commercial revenues significantly, enabling us to return record sums back to British Racing. We have improved our facilities considerably, none more so than our flagship £45 million development at Cheltenham. His vision was pivotal to a range of achievements by the industry, including the growth of media rights value, our terrestrial broadcast relationship with ITV, Levy Reform and the creation of QIPCO British Champions Day.”
Notes to Editors
High resolution images of Delia Bushell taken at Epsom Downs are available to download here.
About The Jockey Club
The Jockey Club stages thrilling sporting occasions including the Randox Health Grand National, the Cheltenham Festival presented by Magners and The Investec Derby. With Her Majesty the Queen as its Patron, The Jockey Club is governed by Royal Charter to act for the long-term good of British racing. Founded in 1750, today The Jockey Club is the largest commercial group (2018 turnover: £214.6 million) in Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live, Jockey Club Services and our charity, Racing Welfare. Every penny The Jockey Club makes goes back into the sport to help to make it the best in the world. For more information please visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk.
For further information
Please contact The Jockey Club’s Communications Team: