British Horseracing’s leaders react to the King and Queen’s appointment as patrons of the Jockey Club

04 May 2024 BHA Features

Responding to the news of the His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen being appointed as patrons of the Jockey Club, Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), said:

“We are absolutely delighted that the King and Queen will maintain the centuries-long bond between horseracing and our much-loved Royal Family.

“Our sport was deeply honoured to enjoy the patronage of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for many years, and this development will add a new chapter to the unique story of Royal tradition and its enduring ties with horseracing.

“No other British sport is so closely associated with our Royal Family, and nothing could more powerfully demonstrate the crucial role racing plays in the fabric of British sporting culture and society than Their Majesties’ patronage.

“With their support – and other members of the Royal Family – we are confident that racing in Britain will continue to flourish as the People’s Sport and maintain its position as a cherished British institution which uniquely unites people from all walks of life and society.”

Joe Saumarez Smith, Chair of the BHA, added:

“Racing has witnessed many unforgettable moments alongside the Royal Family in recent years, from Estimate’s success in the Ascot Gold Cup for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, through to Desert Hero becoming the first winner at Royal Ascot in the colours of the King and Queen.

“Being a part of racing brings the monarchy closer to the people of Britain than any other activity. The sheer delight that those moments brought the King and Queen were shared by the whole country.

“Racing is unique in that it offers everyone who takes part that same thrill, and the chance to be a part of an elite sporting event. It offers the dream that anyone who becomes involved in the sport could one day be taking part in a race against the Royal Family.

“I congratulate the King and Queen on their appointment. We look forward to many more memorable days to come and wish them the best of luck with all their racing interests.”