The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has notified stakeholders that Chair Joe Saumarez Smith has been diagnosed with lung cancer and will start treatment later this month.
The board of the BHA have agreed that they would like Saumarez Smith to continue in his role as Chair for as long as he is happy to do so.
Saumarez Smith has accepted the offer: “In the interest of transparency and openness from the BHA, we thought it was best to confirm this news publicly.
“It is obviously not ideal to have this diagnosis but I am confident I can keep working with all our stakeholders to deliver the strategic priorities that were agreed last September.”
Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of the BHA, said: “While we are of course concerned for our friend and colleague, we know Joe will fight this illness with all the determination and resilience that has been a feature of his career to date.
“It is testament to him that he is keen to continue in his role for as long as the treatment allows. He has the full support and best wishes of everyone on the BHA Board in doing so.
“I am sure I can speak for everyone at the BHA and across the industry in wishing him good luck during his treatment.”
Saumarez Smith asks that his privacy and that of his family and friends be respected during this period.
David Jones, the BHA Senior Independent Director of the BHA, will be available to substitute for Saumarez Smith at industry gatherings in the event he is unable to attend, as well as other BHA Board members who will attend where required.”