Dr Jerry Hill, Chief Medical Adviser (CMA) for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), has been awarded an MBE for services to British Horseracing during the Covid-19 pandemic in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
The nomination reflects Dr Hill’s leadership of British racing’s medical response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has – through his compassionate, collegiate and methodical approach – helped the sport chart a safe course through the challenges of the last 16 months, and facilitated the safe resumption of elite sport in the UK.
Following racing’s suspension on 18 March 2020, Dr Hill worked tirelessly with colleagues across racing, fellow medical advisers and professionals, to develop safe and robust protocols for the resumption of a £4.1 billion industry.
His expertise was recognised by DCMS as he was invited to join a group of fellow Sports CMA’s and Public Health England to agree guidance for the resumption of elite sports in the UK. Dr Hill personally took the lead on drafting the Stage Three – Return to Domestic Competition guidance, which was swiftly agreed by the public health authorities and allowed the return of all elite sport in the UK from 1 June 2020.
Dr Hill’s leading role in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic is a crowning achievement in an extensive programme of work on medical provision in British racing over the last six years. This has included: enhancements to medical requirements of British racecourses; expansion of physiotherapy provision to all British race meetings; and facilitating academic research into jockey nutrition, mental health and concussion protocols.
Annamarie Phelps, Chair of the BHA, said:
“This award recognises Dr Hill’s remarkable achievements on behalf of the racing industry. Jerry’s priority throughout the COVID crisis has always been to put the health of racing’s participants, racegoers and the general population first. This has similarly been the case throughout his six years as BHA Chief Medical Adviser, during which the sport has made significant progress in the field of participant health and wellbeing.”
Dr Jerry Hill said:
“I am genuinely humbled by this award. British racing’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been a truly collaborative one, and the industry has shown what it can achieve when it pulls together. I believe that this award reflects the hard work and commitment of many people across the sport.”
Jerry has also, since Autumn 2020, been awarded an Honorary Consultant Contract with Public Health England along with three other colleagues to formally support the Deputy Chief Medical Officer who oversees the sports portfolio. This role deals with cases and policy in sport, with Dr Hill’s main area being around international travel.