Hear from BHA team members
I am a Racecourse Judge; we record and provide the full result of the races, working closely with a team of highly skilled photo-finish operators. It is an on-course role. We also monitor the Owners Sponsorship Scheme.
I have spent a 10 years working as a Judge. Having grown up as a Racing fan, I initially set out on a career path in Sport horses (3 day eventing) but racing was never far from my thoughts. At the age of 28, I decided to improve my office and administration skills, with a view to becoming a Racing Secretary. I actually became a Racing Manager to the Arabian Racing Organisation, an amateur arm of the sport. Through this role I witnessed the various BHA roles on a racecourse and six seasons later, i applied for the position of Racecourse Judge. Luckily for me, I got the job!
I feel very proud to be working, on course, for the sport’s governing body; every race day is a terrific team effort. It’s a wonderful sport to be working in; for me it’s all about the horses, which we get to witness in their most athletic form. But the camaraderie shown between officials, connections and participants is also quite extraordinary.
If anyone has an opportunity to work for the BHA, my advice would be to grasp it with both hands.
My job role is an EWIO – Equine Welfare and Integrity Officer. As an overview, my role is generally responsible for the welfare of horses and stable staff, providing customer care to racegoers, owners, trainers, and jockeys. The majority of the time I work in the sampling unit at the racecourse and the office signing people and horses into the stable yard who have the relevant ID.
I was born in Hexham, Northumberland and on leaving school went straight to Mr W.A. Stephenson in Bishop Auckland, where I rode my “claim” out over jumps. I later worked as travelling head lad for Mr J.J. Quinn for over 16 years, travelling the length and breadth of the country until the vacancy came up with the BHA in my area.
Working for the BHA had appealed to me for a long time, waiting for a vacancy to arise in the North and then being invited to go for an interview paid off for me. I now work for a very prestigious company who value their employee’s, where I can hopefully further my career.
I enjoy working with my colleagues as a team, in a very friendly and professional environment. I also enjoy the intensity of working in the sampling unit where you have to be extremely meticulous and precise with all paperwork you deal with. I still love being involved within the racing industry, which has always been my passion and I get to travel to different locations and meet new people.
I would recommend working for the BHA to anyone, as they look after their employees and make you feel a valued member of the team, where you also have excellent career opportunities and many benefits on offer from a very professional organisation.
I am the Disciplinary Team Leader. If you want to know how long I’ve been working in the Disciplinary Department; I applied for the job from an advert in The Sporting Life!! 28 years later the door may be different – Portman Square, Shaftesbury Avenue and High Holborn at different times – but the actual thrill of walking through it on a daily basis to work at the heart of racing is as strong today as it was on day one.
My responsibility has always been to advise on the Rules of Racing, and manage and present cases to the Disciplinary Panel. Although, at one time or another, I’ve managed cases across the whole Rule book, recently, my responsibilities have thankfully narrowed to only dealing with all the day-to-day issues that inevitably come back from every race meeting: appeals, improvements in form and referrals.
The objective isn’t just to deal fairly and efficiently with what comes back from the racecourse (though we do of course do that) but to minimise what does come back from the racecourse. To this end, I speak on innumerable different training courses to increase participants’ knowledge and understanding of the Rules, and work closely with the Stipendiary Stewards to achieve the high degree of consistency in their decision making across the 60 racecourse.
The privilege of loving a sport and getting to spend your working life at its very heart is unbeatable.
I am a Senior Handicapper. The general aim of the team is to provide competitive handicaps in the UK by race reading and analysing form on a constant basis, both on the racecourse and from the office, and adjusting ratings and therefore weight carried when and where i/we feel necessary. I am generally responsible for the staying hurdle division but regularly switch during the season and also cover steeplechase and Flat racing.
My working life has almost exclusively been spent in racing. I left school in 1983 and went straight to work at the Timeform Organisation in Halifax. I enjoyed 18 largely enjoyable years there, and was the Senior NH Handicapper when I left in 2001, after a brief hiatus selling cars! I jumped at the chance to work for the BHB (as it was then) in January 2003 which gave me the enviable role of turning gamekeeper after years as the poacher! Nearly 13 years has passed since then and I have had no regrets on switching sides.
The Handicapping team at the BHA is close knit one, and we work very closely with each other despite not seeing each other that often. You need a very co-operative set of colleagues to make this job purr smoothly and I am very fortunate that I can count them as friends as well as workmates. My passion for handicapping remains undiminished, and I still get a kick out of it when I feel the result reflected my good work (and my colleagues of course…..!).
I am Head of Public Affairs and have worked at the BHA since summer 2011, initially joining as part of the Graduate Development Programme, and work as External Affairs Officer with a focus on political and Government relations on behalf of the British Racing industry – of which there is plenty to get my teeth into! I was not necessarily a racing aficionado before I joined, but always thought that it was a fascinating industry and as a generally obsessive sports fan I jumped at the chance to get involved in the country’s second largest sport after football.
It has been a decision I have never regretted. Racing is a fantastic industry to be a part of – it touches so many areas and aspects of society and genuinely has something for everyone. There are lots of warm and friendly people involved in the sport and it is fascinating to be so closely involved in the behind the scenes operations of some of the country’s biggest sports events every year.
The BHA is also a great company to work for. We are all focussed on doing the best we can in our varied roles – for the benefit of the wider industry – but it is far from a cold, corporate atmosphere. In fact, I have made a lot of good friends amongst my colleagues and enjoy working in a fun and friendly, yet still focussed, team on a daily basis.
I am the Head of Careers Marketing and Recruitment, within the Industry People and Development Department and I have been in my current role since November 2014. My role is completely outward facing to the industry – not related to recruiting staff for the BHA. I head up an industry wide marketing strategy to promote the range of careers available across the horseracing industry.
Now, with many more years under my belt what is important to me is to work in a role that gives something back, and for an organisation that embraces the challenges it faces in a positive way, and one that also supports me in my own personal career goals and progression. The fact that I support people in finding their own great careers and can work alongside some brilliant community initiatives, makes going to work very meaningful and rewarding and is the reason I am working at the BHA now.
I first started working for the BHA in 1998 as the Ownership Marketing Executive promoting racehorse ownership. Previously I had studied an Equine Business Degree and done a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing. I had spent a couple of years working for an International Publishing company as a Sale rep –and I think I saw the BHA job advertised in The Times – I jumped at the opportunity to match my marketing education to my love of horses!
I work with some amazing people, who are supportive and we all share a common goal. And because I have been working in racing for a long time, many of those people have become true friends. My role is also incredibly diverse, I could be in a board meeting one day and stood talking to 14 year old school child the next. I get to go racing as part of my job (on occasion!) and have had the opportunity to see behind the scenes of a sport, and meet the people involved – and what sport fan would not want to do that!
Further comments from BHA staff
“BHA staff have a strong sense of loyalty to one another, they are friends. This makes for a good environment to spend the majority of your time in.”
“Horseracing itself is a magical sport and people want to work here because of the job we do and what we are involved in – not every industry can boast that. When you work in racing you get a unique sense of achievement and pride, particularly on a big day when it all comes together and you see the wider public enjoying racing.”
“British racing is the best in the world and to be involved and to work in this industry is a privilege.”
“The environment I work in, and the colleagues I work with, mean I am working in my dream job.”
“We work in a wonderful industry and are involved in some of the greatest sporting events held in the UK.”