Morag Gray and Jim McGrath have today been named as the two Independent Directors of the British Horseracing Authority, which is set to launch as British Racing’s new governing and regulatory body in early 2007.
Gray, 44, is a former Chief Executive of Hamilton Park and was awarded an MBE for her services to Racing in 2005. McGrath, 51, who has been a Director of BHB since January 2005, is Managing Director of the Timeform Organisation and a Channel 4 Racing broadcaster.
Their appointments bring the formation of the BHA Board one step closer. In addition to Gray and McGrath, Paul Roy and Nic Coward, Chairman and Chief Executive-designates of BHA respectively, will be joined by Toby Balding and Ian Renton, the two Directors with practitioner experience appointed by BHA’s member organisations. The two remaining Directors of the eight-strong Board to be named are the Independent Regulatory Directors.
Paul Roy said: “Morag and Jim are both renowned as individuals of strong conviction, and will bring vision, creativity and fresh ideas to the BHA Board. They have good track records of running successful businesses, and have a breadth of experience at the sharp end of the sport. Their independence of thought will be a tremendous asset to BHA, and I look forward to working with them.”
Morag Gray said: “I was pleased to be approached and I am delighted to have been appointed. I have been particularly impressed by the make up of the Board and by the recent key appointments. BHA represents a breakthrough for Racing and I look forward to being part of that as an independent voice.”
Jim McGrath said: “The British Horseracing Authority is an interesting new concept for sports governance and regulation, and Racing is fortunate to have individuals of the calibre of Paul Roy, with his strong business background, at the helm.
“Racing politics can at times be frustrating, but it is always an honour to represent your sport and there will hopefully be many areas in which my experience – including that gained in the last two years on the BHB Board – can be put to good use.”
Morag Gray, 44, started her career in the racing industry in 1988 when she became the first female Clerk of the Course in Britain (at Ayr and Hamilton Park). She then spent 10 years at the Racecourse Association, latterly as Racing Director. During that time she served on numerous BHB committees, including Race Planning. She was also a founder member of the National Joint Pitch Council. From 2000 to 2004 she was Chief Executive of Hamilton Park Racecourse. She currently runs her own business, Black and White Communication (Scotland) Limited, based in Edinburgh. She was awarded an MBE for services to Racing in 2005. She and her partner, Angus Crichton-Miller, have horses in training with Susan Bradburne and Ian Semple.
Jim McGrath, 51, is Managing Director of the Timeform Organisation, which he joined after leaving school in 1974. A member of the Channel 4 Racing team, he has worked regularly on racing television since 1981. In 2005 he was appointed the first Chairman of BHB’s British Racing Consumer Committee. He was a member of BHB’s Jump Racing Advisory Panel since BHB’s inception until mid-2004 and also in 2004 he stepped down after a lengthy spell as a member of the Horserace Writers and Photographers’ Association Committee. He is a successful breeder and owner with current interests in horses in training with Mark Johnston and Pat Eddery.