John Bridgeman and Ben Gunn are today confirmed as the two Independent Regulatory Directors of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), completing the formation of the Board of British Racing’s new governing and regulatory body, set to launch in early 2007.
Bridgeman is a former Director General of the Office of Fair Trading and is currently Chairman of the Horseracing Regulatory Authority (HRA). He will also Chair BHA’s Regulatory Committee upon its inception. Gunn is a former Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire, and also currently an Independent Director of the HRA with special responsibility for security issues. In 2003 he was chair of the Security Review that made a series of recommendations to enhance the integrity of British Racing.
The two appointments complete the make up of the eight-strong BHA Board, which is comprised as follows:
Paul Roy Chairman
Nic Coward Chief Executive
Toby Balding Member Nominee Director, appointed by the Racehorse Owners Association, Licensed Personnel and the Thoroughbred Breeders Association
John Bridgeman Independent Regulatory Director
Morag Gray Independent Director
Ben Gunn Independent Regulatory Director
Jim McGrath Independent Director
Ian Renton Member Nominee Director, appointed by the Racecourse Association
Paul Roy said: “John and Ben have been at the forefront of many of the improvements that have been made to British Racing’s regulation in recent years, and their appointments to BHA’s Board will ensure that the sport continues to inspire public confidence that it is run to the highest standards of integrity.
“I am delighted that we now have the full Board in place. It represents a fresh start, and there is a tremendous amount of expertise and experience around the table, both from within Racing as well as other sports and industries. Last week’s confirmation of the Levy being retained has given us the much-needed certainty regarding finances that will allow us to press on and get BHA fully operational early in 2007.”
John Bridgeman said: “I am greatly looking forward to serving on the BHA Board. There are many, many benefits of governance and regulation being united under a largely independent Board. Our new structure provides the ideal platform for long awaited modernisation.”
Ben Gunn said: “It is an honour to be asked to be part of the new BHA Board under Paul Roy’s chairmanship and working alongside such experienced and key figures within the world of Racing. I relish the opportunities which the new structure for governance and regulation presents and look forward to playing my full part in the challenges of the future.”
John Bridgeman CBE joined the Regulatory Board of the Jockey Club in 2004, became its Chairman in 2005 and then the first Chairman of the Horseracing Regulatory Authority in 2006. His longstanding involvement in Better Regulation began as a part-time member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission in 1990. He went on to serve as Director General of the Office of Fair Trading where he took a particular interest in consumer affairs and competition policy in the sporting, gambling and broadcasting sectors. This involved working with sports’ governing bodies, other government agencies and broadcasters in this country and in Europe and in Football, Rugby, Cricket, Golf and F1 Racing as well as Horseracing.
John Bridgeman also has an interest in gambling. This began with a major OFT investigations into Gambling, Competitions and Prize Draws (1996) and subsequently into the availability of competition for High Street betting shops (1998) and into the market of London Casinos (2000).
A graduate in Chemistry from the University of Wales, John has become actively involved in the forensic side of Horseracing Integrity by recently launching a far-reaching enquiry into the counter-analysis regime for racecourse specimens.
Although, as yet, not an owner of a racehorse John Bridgeman and his family have had horses and ponies at their Oxfordshire home for over 25 years.
Ben Gunn CBE was a career detective who spent 26 years in the Metropolitan Police Special Branch dealing with counter-terrorism, subversion and Security issues. From January 1994 until his retirement in 2002 he was Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire. Since 2002 he has served a number of roles in racing including membership of the Integrity Review Committee and, in 2003, chairing the joint BHB-Jockey Club Security Review which made 36 key recommendations to enhance the integrity of horseracing in Great Britain. He has special responsibility for Security issues within the HRA.
Ben, who has a law degree from Cambridge University, is also a Commissioner of the Gambling Commission. A keen supporter of all sports, Ben Gunn has had a lifelong interest in horseracing, rugby, cricket and boxing.