The British Horseracing Authority has appointed Cathy O’Meara to the new role of Head of Raceday Officials. O’Meara is expected to join her new post within the next two months.
O’Meara, who serves as The Jockey Club’s (U.S.) Manager of Industry Initiatives, is responsible for managing numerous initiatives including the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit and Thoroughbred Safety Committee. She also represents The Jockey Club on the IFHA International Harmonisation of Racing Rules Committee and is involved in various other U.S. bodies relating to integrity, racing surfaces and medication and testing. Additionally, O’Meara is an accredited steward for the National Steeplechase Association based in Fair Hill, Maryland and serves as manager of the Racing Officials Accreditation Program (ROAP).
“The ability to attract individuals of Cathy’s calibre clearly shows the immense prestige of working in British racing,” said Brant Dunshea, Chief Regulatory Officer for the BHA. “She brings significant experience to the role and is an extremely versatile and well-regarded operator. Having worked closely with horses throughout her life, including as a trainer, Cathy brings a great balance of experience to this role. This experience should stand her in good stead for the role, which will include significant collaboration with the sport’s stakeholders and participants in order to help further develop our raceday officiating standards and procedures.”
O’Meara, who holds a Master of Business Administration from Sullivan University along with an Animal Science bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech University, joined The Jockey Club, in 2006 followed by ROAP 2010. O’Meara, who spent time as a Thoroughbred trainer, exercise rider and farm/office manager in Lexington, served a stint at Kildangan Stud in County Kildare, Ireland.
The Head of Raceday Officials, which is a newly-created position, will have management responsibility of the BHA’s team of raceday officials, with a key focus on improving and controlling policy and operating procedures. The role will focus on the development and delivery of competency-based training for all racing officials in Britain. It is a role that will involve significant cross-industry collaboration, both domestically and internationally.
“Cathy has been a valuable member of The Jockey Club team for more than a decade,” said Jim Gagliano, President and Chief Operating Officer of The (U.S.) Jockey Club. “The British Horseracing Authority selected a very capable professional in Cathy as its Head of Raceday Officials. All of us at The Jockey Club wish Cathy the best of luck in her new career.”