Rod Street to step down as CEO of Great British Racing

04 Mar 2024 BHA Features

Rod Street, who has been CEO of Great British Racing – racing’s promotional and marketing body – since 2010, will leave the role at the end of April.

He will continue to lead British Champions Series Limited, where he has been CEO since 2011, until later in the year.

Rod Street said:  

“It is my privilege to work in horseracing. I enter my 31st year in the sport in May this year and that time has been split evenly between senior leadership roles – both at racecourses and at the centre of the sport. The time feels right to do something new and it is my intention to launch a new venture in coaching and mentoring leaders of the future, which many people know is a passion of mine.

“I am very proud of the achievements of the team at GBR. Racing is significantly better promoted now than it was 15 years ago. Jockeys are developing into superb ambassadors for the sport, we produce content on an almost daily basis and it is rare for a news opportunity or milestone to be missed. GBR has delivered large national campaigns on themes as diverse as equine welfare, under 18’s race free and Sports Personality of the Year. Such is the extent of GBR’s work that our name goes largely unnoticed, as it should do, because our job is to tell the stories – not be the story.

“Reflecting on my time at GBR, there have been so many positive moments. Often it is the hard-earned wins that provide the most satisfaction – such as the team landing coverage of a sporting achievement on the national six o’clock or ten o’clock news programmes, or securing a big feature in the tabloids and broadsheets. But, in terms of major impact, I would cite QIPCO British Champions Series and Day and National Racehorse Week as huge innovations. And we also now have a Flat Racing Hall of Fame, which has been an honour to work on.

“Looking to racing’s future, this is a time of both challenge and opportunity. It is encouraging that the sport has come together to address declines in revenue and engagement. Racing is not alone – most sports outside football face precisely the same challenge – and we are competing for customers’ attention in a fiercely competitive environment. The principle of leading with our best quality products through Premier Racing is the right one. I remain optimistic for the sport, because we have history, heritage and a level of coverage that other sports would die for.”

Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of the BHA, said: 

“Rod is an experienced, respected and much-loved individual in racing. Working in a multi-stakeholder environment is not easy and it is testament to Rod’s qualities that he has thrived in the role of CEO at Great British Racing for nearly 15 years.

“More recently he has been an integral part of the Industry Strategy, working across multiple areas, and has made a huge contribution to that.

“In all Rod has worked in racing for over 30 years so far and his contribution has been vast, both in terms of his professional achievements, and through the positive influence of his trademark optimism and vivacity.

“We are sincerely sorry to lose him, but respect his decision and on behalf of racing’s stakeholders thank him for all he has done, including the energy and passion he has brought to every task. Rod has made a big difference to how racing is promoted, compared to when he joined GBR in 2010. I’m sure we will continue to see lots of him in the future.”

Notes to editors:

Great British Racing Limited is the sport’s marketing and promotional body and is a 50/50 joint commercial venture between the Racecourse Association and the Thoroughbred Group, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Horseracing Authority.