Jockey Club Racecourses, the largest commercial organisation in British horse racing, has confirmed that Julia Budd has been elected to the position of deputy senior steward, while Baroness Dido Harding and Sandy Dudgeon will join its eight-person board of stewards.
Julia Budd, who has been a steward since 2012, succeeds Andrew Merriam in the role. Budd is currently the chairman of The Jockey Club’s Epsom Downs Racecourse, the home of classic races the Oakes and the Derby. She is also a founding partner of leading international search firm the Zygos Partnership and a member of the government’s Professional and Business Services Council.
Budd said that it had been a “privilege to act as a steward” for the past five years but was looking “forward to the [new] challenge very much”. She also took time to pay tribute to the “tremendous contribution in the role” that her predecessor Andrew Merriam had made.
Harding and Dudgeon will serve three-year terms from 1st January 2018 on the elected panel which oversees the performance of the group and ensures that it carries out its Royal Charter commitments to act for the long-term good of British racing.
Baroness Harding is currently the chairperson of NHS Improvement. She has previously held senior roles at UK supermarket giants Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s, as well as being the chief executive of TalkTalk Telecom Group. She was appointed as a member of The Jockey Club in 2004.
Sandy Dudgeon is head of wealth management for Schroders in Hong Kong. He was appointed a member of The Jockey Club in 1989 and was previously a steward of The Jockey Club for four years until the end of 2012.
Roger Weatherby, senior steward of The Jockey Club said: “I would like to congratulate Julia on her appointment as deputy senior steward and thank Andrew for his considerable support in that role. Julia has made an excellent contribution as a steward and I look forward to working with her as the deputy on our board.
“I am delighted to welcome Dido and Sandy as stewards. We will benefit hugely from their commercial expertise and passion for British racing as we look to support a bright future for our sport.”