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The Racing Foundation announces Julia Budd as new Chair with term to commence January 2022 Image

The Racing Foundation announces Julia Budd as new Chair with term to commence January 2022

Thursday, 9 September 2021

The Racing Foundation is delighted to confirm Julia Budd has been appointed as its new Chair with her term commencing on January 1, 2022.

Budd succeeds Ian Barlow who retires after six years and two terms on the Foundation’s board.

Well known to key stakeholders in racing, Budd has held high-profile positions across the industry.

At board level, she was appointed as the Jockey Club’s first female steward in its 261-year history in 2011 before progressing to Deputy Senior Steward from which she retired in 2020. She is currently Chair of Epsom Downs Racecourse and the British Racing School.

Budd has also held non-board positions within the industry including working as a racecourse steward and currently volunteers for Racing Welfare as part of their ‘Check in and chat' service. Budd has also been involved in the sport as an owner for the last 30 years.

“The issues the Racing Foundation is focusing on and cares about are the same issues which are most important to me within our industry,” said Budd.

“Not least because it seems to me that everything they’re supporting ensures that racing has a licence to operate: people, horse welfare, community engagement and environment and emerging issues, which is a key focus in the new strategy.

“There can be fragmentation in the racing industry but the Foundation is doing a good job in both bringing the stakeholders and other funders together.

“Ian will leave big shoes to fill. I think he’s done a fantastic job because he really understands the ecosystem that is racing.

“Stepping in during the 2021 to 2023 strategy will enable me to take over where he’s left off. There will be evolution rather than revolution here.

“It’s genuinely a privilege to become Chair of a Foundation that is making an impact on the racing industry for the long term.

“The trustees on the Racing Foundation board are a great group of people and I’m looking forward to challenging discussion and good decision making at the board meetings.

“I’m excited to be working with them all.”

Barlow, who is standing down as Chair after completing his second term on the Foundation’s board, said: “I have much enjoyed my six years as a trustee of The Racing Foundation.

“Its endowment, now standing at over £100million, represents a lasting legacy from the sale of the Tote by the Government in 2012.

“To date it has contributed all its income and capital growth after inflation totalling over £23million to strategic projects, principally to improve the wellbeing of the horses and people on whom Racing depends.

“I am pleased we have been able to play an increasingly strategic role working in partnership with all key stakeholders to support such work which is crucial to our licence to operate as a sport. 

“My deepest thanks go to our executive team led by Rob Hezel, Chief Executive, and Tansy Challis, Grants Manager, for their terrific work in developing and delivering our strategy and to my fellow trustees for their unstinting support and willingness to get involved in driving our programme forward.

“I leave my allotted time at the Foundation confident its financial strength, coupled with strong executive leadership and supported by a skilled and experienced board of trustees, will ensure it continues to be a key facilitator and funder of change and improvement in Racing.”

Rob Hezel, Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation, said: “I would like to thank Ian for his exceptional contribution over the last six years on the Racing Foundation board.

“He is as knowledgeable about the racing industry as he is about leadership and charities.

“I have enjoyed working with him, have benefited from his insight and experience and would like to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work he has done for the Foundation both as a Trustee and over recent years as Chair.

“I look forward to welcoming Julia into the post and working with her to deliver on the Racing Foundation’s purpose: to make a difference in racing by acting as a catalyst and a funder of improvement.”

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