June 11, 2024 3 min read


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BHA CEO Julie Harrington to Depart at the End of 2024

Harrington expressed confidence that the sport can achieve great things if it continues to foster a sense of unity and shared purpose

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced that Julie Harrington will be stepping down as CEO at the end of the year. Her decision would mark the end of a four-year tenure and comes amid the ongoing gambling reforms.

During her time as CEO of the BHA, Harrington oversaw a variety of changes, including a new governance structure. She also ensured that the sport’s long-term Industry Strategy received cross-industry support.

Additionally, the outgoing CEO was responsible for setting core architecture in place, as well as for structural and operational changes at the BHA. Furthermore, Harrington worked on the horseracing industry’s new People Strategy and the introduction of the Horseracing Industry People Board.

In her position, Harrington also worked hard to improve the sector’s commercial opportunities. The recruitment process for a new CEO will start this week.

Speaking of changes to the BHA’s leadership, Joe Saumarez Smith, chair of the BHA, also announced his departure. Smith is set to step down at the end of May 2025 and the BHA is already on the lookout for his successor.

Harrington Felt It Was Time to Move on

Harrington commented on the new departure, saying that she felt it was the right time to move on and let someone else steer the sport. She said that she has enjoyed leading the BHA during a period of significant change.

Harrington said that she loves the horseracing industry and believes it to be an amazing sport to be involved in. She added that she will always be a fan.

I am proud of the progress the industry has made over the past three years, especially in improving the governance structure, and I hope that racing’s stakeholders will continue to work together cooperatively to attract new audiences, further improve the customer experience and grow the sport.

Julie Harrington, outgoing CEO, BHA

Harrington added that she is confident that the sport can achieve great things if it continues to foster a sense of unity and shared purpose.

Harrington also noted that her future plans would likely include a move to a non-executive career. She also mentioned that she had mulled over this move for a while but agreed to stay on until the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.

The outgoing CEO thanked everyone who has supported her over the years.

Joe Saumarez Smith, chair of the authority, also commented on the matter, praising Harrington for her incredible contributions.

We have been lucky to have her in charge and she will be difficult to replace. I am grateful she has agreed to stay on to the end of the year to allow us to recruit her replacement and to ensure a smooth transition.

Joe Saumarez Smith, chair, BHA

Smith concluded that he and the BHA board “fully understand” why Harrington has taken the decision to leave the authority and wish her every success in future endeavors.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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