The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has confirmed that Atholl Duncan, the current Senior Independent Director of the Board, will take over as Interim BHA Chairman after Steve Harman steps down from the role on 12 November.
Atholl’s appointment comes after the recommendation of the BHA’s Nominations Committee, which reports to the BHA Board and contains representatives of the BHA’s members – the Racecourse Association (RCA), and the Racehorse Owners Association, Licensed Personnel and the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association.
Duncan commented on his new role: “It is a great honour for me to be appointed as Chair of the BHA. My immediate focus will be to continue to work closely with everyone across horseracing to shape the right improvements we need to meet the many challenges facing our sport.
“I also look forward to supporting and constructively challenging the BHA Executive and the highly dedicated teams across the country who we rely on every day to ensure the smooth running, integrity and welfare of Racing.”
An experienced non-executive director in sports organisations, Atholl was a senior executive at the BBC for many years. He spent four years as Director of Corporate Affairs with Scottish Water and since 2011 was Executive Director of ICAS, the professional body of Chartered Accountants. Atholl joined the BHA Board in December 2014.
Atholl was also a non-executive director of Sportscotland for nine years, sat on the Scottish Sports Council Trust and the Hibernian Football Club Community Foundation. He has been a regular racegoer for nearly 40 years; is a Trustee of the Caledonian Racing Society; has been an owner in several syndicates; and has horses in training with Lucinda Russell.
The appointment is on an ongoing basis with no fixed term while the BHA and its members continue constructive discussion regarding the makeup of the BHA Board and the remit of the Chairman.
The BHA Board is meeting for the final time with Steve Harman as chairman in late September, before he formally leaves the post on 12 November.