Election of New Jockey Club Members
Published: 13 December 1999
The following were elected as Honorary Members of the Jockey Club:
Michael Osborne MRCVS
A vet by profession, Michael Osborne, 65, has also devoted a large amount of his life to racing administration. As Chairman of the Dubai World Cup Organising Committee from 1995-99, he was one of the driving forces behind the inception of the Dubai World Cup. Having forged an association with Sheikh Mohammed in 1986 as manager of his Studs in Ireland, Michael Osborne is now a Director of Darley Stud Management and Chief Executive of Kildangan Stud. He also continues as an adviser to the Emirates Racing Association, having been its Chief Executive from 1996-99. Prior to his election as a Member of the Turf Club and the Irish National Steeplechase Committee in 1980, he was Managing Director of the Irish National Stud and a Council Member of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association. He was Chairman of Curragh Racecourse and Training Grounds before serving as Senior Steward of the Turf Club from 1994-97, during which time he was also a Member of the Irish Horseracing Authority. Michael Osborne has recently been appointed Chairman of Goffs.
A licensed trainer since 1961, Peter Walwyn, 66, retired at the end of this year’s Flat Turf season. In a career spanning nearly forty years, he was Champion Trainer (prize-money) twice (1974 and 1975) and the leading trainer in terms of races won six times, in 1969 and from 1973-77. He was also Champion Trainer in Ireland for the 1974-75 season. He trained the winners of six Classics – the 1,000 Guineas, the Oaks, the Derby, the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the Irish Derby (twice), three of which were won by the 1974 Champion 2 year old and 1975 Horse of the Year, Grundy. Mr Walwyn is synonymous with Lambourn and has played an active role in the area as Chairman of Lambourn Trainers’ Association and as a Trustee of the Lambourn Valley Housing Trust. He is also on the Councils of the British Racing School and the Animal Health Trust and a Member of the Countryside Alliance’s Racing Committee.
The President of the Japan Racing Association (ex-officio)
The Japan Racing Association is the regulatory authority and owner of racecourses and betting systems for national racing in Japan. It is also responsible for the development of horseracing and the improvement of the breed. The Association was established by the Japanese Government in 1954 and the President is appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, and the current President is the newly appointed is Mr Masayuki Takahashi.
Honorary membership recognises the very real progress that has been made by the JRA, against stiff internal opposition, to open up racing in Japan to foreign bred horses and to a lesser but growing extent to foreign trained horses.
The Japan Racing Association is added to the Jockey Club’s list of foreign turf authorities that are granted Honorary Membership ex-officio.
The following were elected as Members of the Jockey Club:
William Bethell, 42, is a racecourse steward at Market Rasen, Pontefract and York. Having been assistant trainer to the late Richard Bethell, he has held a permit since 1994, training 7 winners. He has ridden successfully as an amateur, and currently has two horses in training with Malcolm Jefferson.
The Hon Harry Herbert
Harry Herbert, 40, is the Racing Manager for Highclere Thoroughbred Racing and for the Royal Ascot Racing Club. The former is a racehorse syndication company specialising in syndicates with no more than 30 shareholders, they have 33 horses in training with nine different trainers. The Royal Ascot Racing Club has 220 members with six flat and one jump horse in training with Sir Michael Stoute, Richard Hannon and Paul Webber. Harry Herbert previously worked at Newbury racecourse and is currently the racing consultant for Cartier, overseeing their annual awards ceremony.
A director of Cheltenham racecourse, Charles Lloyd-Baker, 54, stewards at three National Hunt tracks. He has had horses in training with Peter Hobbs and Guy Harwood. Charles Lloyd-Baker farms in Gloucestershire and was High Sheriff for the county in 1993/94.
Sir Charles Lowther Bt
Sir Charles Lowther, 53, is a Director of Chester and Bangor-on-Dee racecourses, as well as a steward at four courses, both Flat and Jump. He served as Commanding Officer of the Queen’s Royal Hussars from 1986-89. Sir Charles was High Sheriff for Clwyd in 1997 and Chairman of the Clwyd Ambulance Service.
Erik Penser, 57, is Chairman of Erik Penser Fondkommission, a Stockholm brokerage company. Having previously had horses in training with John Dunlop, Mr Penser has now constructed a purpose-built training centre in Oxfordshire where he employs Gerard Butler as the trainer. He currently has 15 horses in training, including Compton Admiral, winner of the 1999 Coral Eclipse. Erik Penser also owns five brood mares from which he has bred a Group 1 winner, Compton Beauchamp. He is a Director of Newbury racecourse.
Adrian Pratt, 47, is an insurance broker by profession, and is currently Managing Director of British Equestrian Insurance Brokers, Chairman of St Margaret’s Insurances and President of Equisure (USA). He is a Director of Plumpton and Fontwell racecourses and is a Trustee of Emergency Relief for Thoroughbreds. A Member of the ROA Council from 1996-98, he was elected as one of the Industry Committee Directors on the BHB in 1998, although he retires from both boards at the end of this year. He was also a Member of the BHB’s National Hunt and Fixtures Review Group. Adrian Pratt has been an amateur rider, a trainer (he held a permit from 1979-82) and is still an owner, having shares in five horses trained by Richard Rowe.
Jeff Smith, 53, is Chairman and Chief Executive of AIM Group plc, an Aviation Company. He currently has 35 horses in training, with Ian Balding, David Elsworth, James Eustace and Richard Hannon, as well as four horses in training in France. His most successful horse, which he bred as well as owned, was Lochsong who won three Group 1 races, and he currently owns Lochangel, Persian Punch and Dashiba. The majority of Mr Smith’s horses are bred at his own Littleton Stud where he also stands three stallions.
Patricia Thompson and her husband David jointly own Cheveley Park Stud, Newmarket, which stands seven stallions and houses 100 brood mares. Cheveley Park Stud was the leading UK Breeder in 1996 and 1997 as well as the leading UK based Owner in 1994, 1995 and 1996. It has also bred or sold the winner of a Group 1 race in each of the last eight seasons. The Stud will have 70 horses in training in 2000, spread between five trainers in the UK and one in the USA. Patricia Thompson is represented, through Cheveley Park Stud, on the ROA and the TBA; personally she has served as a trustee of the BEBF, is a trustee of the National Horsracing Musuem, and a Director of Windsor racecourse.