Nick Rust

BHA's Nick Rust to Receive New Year's Honours

British Horseracing Authority Chief Executive Nick Rust will be honoured with an OBE for his service to the sport of horse racing. Rust steps down from his post on Jan. 1. He has served in his position for nearly six years and dealt with a range of issues, including changes to the Levy, presiding over a review of buying/selling bloodstock, the increasingly important improvements to horse welfare, increasing diversity and inclusion in the sport of horse racing in the UK and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Jumps jockey Bob Champion was...

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DiRSG Annual Update Published

The 2020 Annual Update from the Diversity in Racing Steering Group (DiRSG) was published on Monday. The report highlights the importance of capitalising on the current momentum within British racing to continue to work together for a more diverse and inclusive sport. Funded by the Racing Foundation, the DiRSG report also contains discussion of ethnic diversity within racing in light of the worldwide conversation about race and racism seen this year, highlights a number of important individual milestones as well as the launch of a wide variety of industry initiatives...

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UK Government to Examine Reform of Horserace Betty Levy and Gambling Reform

The UK Government will look into the timetable for reviewing the Horserace Betting Levy, and the news has been welcoming by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). Not due for a review until 2024 under the current legislation, the Horserace Betting Levy is now on the table for next year. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the funding issues of the industry, and the COVID-19 Recovery Plan, published in August, called for an urgent review as part of a wider initiative to restore industry finances. After the review was published, the...

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Decision on UK Owners Attendance on Monday

British racing is continuing despite the upcoming second lockdown this Thursday, and a decision will be made on Monday to determine whether owners can watch their horses race, British Horseracing Authority Nick Rust said on Racing TV's Luck on Sunday. The lockdown begins Nov. 5 and will last for four weeks. Betting shops will be closed during the lockdown as well. "The Government has shown plenty of faith in us, and we can show what an important role racing plays in national life over the next month," said Rust on...

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BHA Releases 2019 Financial Report

The British Horseracing Authority released a summary of its 2019 annual report and consolidated financial statements. BHA's Chief Executive Nick Rust opted for the release of an abbreviated version of 2019 to augment the strategic report featured in the accounts. Audited accounts for last season show an operating loss of £767,000--over the budgeted-for deficit of £478,000--and is due, in part, to increased activity including the formation of the Horse Welfare Board. In the summary, Rust reflects on notable events during the year like the equine influenza outbreak, Brexit, the impact...

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Susannah Gill Appointed New Chair of the Diversity in Racing Steering Group

Susannah Gill has been appointed the new Chairwoman of the Diversity in Racing Steering Group, replacing British Horseracing Authority CEO Nick Rust who is leaving his BHA role at the end of the year, the British Horseracing Authority announced on Thursday. Gill, a member of the DiRSG since it began in 2017,  was previously the director of external affairs and board member for Arena Racing Company. Prior to that, she was the Betfair Head of Public Affairs. Currently, Gill is a Trustee of the Racing Foundation and National Horseracing College...

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British Racing Agrees On Recovery Plan

Representatives of the British Horseracing Authority, horsemen and racecourses have agreed on a plan for the next stages of the industry's recovery plan from COVID-19. The recovery plan lists nine industry goals, which are as follows: To secure a full resumption of race-day activity, with the best possible ownership and spectator experience, and the maximum attendance possible; To maintain the health and safety of participants, staff and all those attending raceday meetings by continuing the safe return of racing and adherence to strict controls on social distancing; To put in...

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Julie Harrington Named New BHA CEO

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced the appointment of Julie Harrington to the role of chief executive from January 2021. A former BHA board member during her eight years as a senior executive with Northern Racing, Harrington has been the CEO of British Cycling for almost four years. She has also previously been managing director of Uttoxeter Racecourse and operations director of the Football Association (FA), during which time she was responsible for Wembley Stadium and the FA's training facility, St George's Park. A statement released by the BHA...

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Sykes To Step Down From BHA Role

David Sykes will step down from his role as the British Horseracing Authority's Director of Equine Health and Welfare before the end of the year. He will return to his native Australia for family reasons. Since joining the BHA in 2017, Sykes has been involved in the development of the Horse Welfare Board; the handling of the 2019 equine flu outbreak; the publication of a detailed review of safety and welfare at the Cheltenham Festival; the implementation of 30-day foal notifications and changes to the ways in which retired racehorses...

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BHA Board Makes Statement in Support of Rust

After some British trainers, among them Ralph Beckett and Mark Johnston, called for the resignation of British Horseracing Authority CEO Nick Rust due to his handling of British racing during the COVID-19 crisis, the Board of the BHA released a statement in support of Rust and his team on Sunday afternoon. The Sunday Telegraph first reported the trainers had written to the BHA's Chairwoman Annamarie Phelps requesting Rust's resignation. Rust will be leaving his position as CEO of the BHA at the end of the year. The BHA's statement read:...

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Return of British Racing Delayed; Dante Meeting Cancelled

The suspension of British racing will continue beyond the initial May 1 target date for resumption, the British Horseracing Authority confirmed on Wednesday. The BHA did not provide a new objective start-up date, but said plans are in place to allow the sport to resume as soon as possible, and that its plans continue to allow for resumption in the month of May if possible. Racing in Britain has been off since Mar. 18. With restrictions on mass gatherings likely to continue for some time, the BHA says racing with...

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Coronavirus Steering Group in Place

The British Horseracing Authority is prepared to act--if the need arises--regarding any potential coronavirus impact on fixtures, including the Cheltenham Festival. BHA chief executive Nick Rust has confirmed an industry steering group is in place to consider the implications of the virus. Rust, speaking on a Betfair podcast, said, "We have an industry group in place that has been and continues to work on the potential impact of the coronavirus on the horse racing industry as a whole. "The BHA executive met with the team at Cheltenham Racecourse on Monday...

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