BHA seeks new CEO as Rust confirms 2020 leadership departure

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has begun its search for a new leader, after Nick Rust confirmed that he will end his Chief Executive tenure at the end of the year.

A former Ladbrokes executive, Rust was appointed BHA CEO in November 2014, becoming British horseracing’s first leadership appointment from the betting sector.

Upon taking charge of the BHA, Rust was tasked with restructuring UK racing’s levy system to secure new revenues, funding vital racing provisions and the upkeep of the sports and its wider stakeholders.

Rust would oversee a tense three-year renegotiation featuring public fallouts between racing and betting leadership, as UK racing moved to expand its levy system’s incorporating a 10% fee on the gross profits of remote operators secured through racing wagers.

Racing’s funding dispute would be settled by the DCMS in 2017, which backed the BHA’s newly formed ‘Horserace Betting Levy’ – stating that is plans were fair charges, necessary to securing the future of horseracing and ensure a fair return for the sport’.

“The BHA team I lead worked hard over several years to put forward the arguments to government and the industry ensured that a consistent, simple message was communicated to parliamentarians and the media,” said Rust.

“Of course, there’s always more to do and racing faces its share of challenges as any sport or business does. The job’s never done. But my successor can look forward to the support of a top-class chair and an expert board, a capable and excellent team and an industry that when it comes together and works in a collaborative way can be highly effective.”

The BHA’s new chair Anne-Marie Phelps, who will lead the organisation’s executive search, underlined Rust’s achievements in securing racing new funding structure and improving welfare standards.

“We’re all going to miss Nick’s passion and drive. It is typical of his deep commitment to British racing that he’s given us plenty of time to find a new leader, avoiding a vacuum and ensuring a seamless transition.” Phelps stated.

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