The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) will be making changes to its Board composition, in a bid to increase industry involvement among its members.
It comes as a move to improve its decision-making process at the BHA, including the ways in which it consults both the racing industry and wider stakeholders, in addition to strengthening collaboration between the sport’s leadership and the racing industry as a whole.
The shake-up follows a review carried out by the BHA members, alongside the Racecourse Association (RCA), the three organisations representing the horsemen, the Racehorse Owners Association (ROA), the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) and the Licensed Personnel.
The objective of the review was to increase the wider industry’s involvement in the decision-making process while also trying to retain the independence of the BHA Board on regulatory and integrity matters.
In the coming months, the sporting body will also be addressing a number of specific industry groups and external bodies on their views, and how they can play a role in governance.
The BHA’s Chair, Atholl Duncan, commented on the changes: ‘We believe it is essential to develop a more collaborative relationship across the sport while maintaining the BHA’s independence from participants on integrity and regulatory matters.
“The changes which we’ve agreed with the racecourses and horsemen strike the right balance between industry involvement and maintaining a robust independence in our decision-making.
“I would like this to signal the start of a new era of better working together across the sport.”
A consultation process will also be carried out between the members, analysing the ways in which the BHA deliberates issues with the industry that will affect them. This will also include ensuring that decisions made by the committees are fully representative of the industry.
In addition to consulting BHA members, external bodies will be invited to contribute views on their involvement in consultations.
RCA Chair, Maggie Carver added: “We believe that these changes will bring greater involvement from across the sport into the heart of the BHA’s decisions while maintaining its independence in the areas where that is essential.”
The new Board will consist of the Chairman and Chief Executive, four independent Directors and four Directors who have been nominated by the RCA and the Horsemen.
The process to appoint a new Chair for the BHA board is underway. Meanwhile David Armstrong, the new CEO of the RCA, has joined the BHA board. Maggie Carver and Nicholas Cooper, the President of the ROA, will join the board in March.
The Chair of the TBA, Julian Richmond-Watson, who represented the horsemen on the Members’ Review concluded: “The regulation and governance of our sport has been continually evolving over the years and we believe that it is a natural and appropriate next step in the development of the BHA to make these changes to how our governing and regulatory body operates.”