The Jockey Club has appointed Clare Balding as a racecourse committee director at Epsom Downs Racecourse, the home of The Investec Derby Festival.
Balding, one of the UK's most prominent sport broadcasters and journalists, takes up the new non-executive role at the racecourse with immediate effect. The 45-year-old has been a mainstay of British terrestrial horse racing coverage for two decades, and she was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to broadcasting and journalism in 2013.
“Mill Reef won the Derby in the year I was born and because of that, I have always felt a close affinity with Epsom,” said Balding. “Having reported for 5 Live and presented for both the BBC and Channel 4, my involvement with the media coverage of the Investec Derby Festival goes back 20 years and I'm thrilled to now have the chance to work with the Epsom team in a different capacity.
“I can't wait to help the team in any way possible, especially with the most famous flat race in the world as its hugely important to the whole sport and also to the international profile of British racing."
Balding’s father Ian trained 1971 Derby winner Mill Reef for the American breeder Paul Mellon. Her late uncle Toby is one of the few National Hunt trainers to have won the ‘big three’ British jump races - the Grand National, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle - while her brother Andrew succeeded their father at Kingsclere Stables, winning Epsom’s blue riband fillies race, The Oaks in 2003.
Balding herself was a leading amateur flat jockey and Champion Lady Rider in 1990.