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Racehorse Owners Association confirms new board appointments

| By Robert Fletcher
Britain’s Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) has announced the appointment of Philip Davies MP and former event rider Mouse Hamilton-Fairley to its board.

The double addition, and the reappointment of long-term member Celia Djivanovic, forms part of the ROA’s transition to a skills-based board, one of several recommendations put to and approved by the board as part of the wider ROA Corporate Governance Review.

The review is part of a wider effort to support the broader modernisation of horse racing and ensure its practices meet modern standards of corporate governance.

“Both our new board members and Celia’s re-election are indicative of the impetus behind our corporate governance agenda at the ROA,” ROA president Charlie Parker said. “We are determined to, in line with our Review, drive a more diverse set of people and skills on our board. 

“With so many challenges to ownership, racing’s participants and racing in its totality, I look forward to working closely with the Board to help the ROA continue to be the voice for all owners, domestic or international based, our members and together deliver for racing’s future.”

New board member Davies has been the MP for Shipley in West Yorkshire since 2005 and an officer of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Racing and Bloodstock for over a decade. 

He also spent more than 10 years on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Select Committee and as the chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Betting and Gaming.

“As a lifelong racing fan, this is a sport I know and love. To be involved at this level is a great privilege,” Davies said. “I am looking forward to getting stuck in and helping racing and owners both navigate the challenging period ahead but also thrive in the future.”

Hamilton-Fairley was formerly an event rider, point-to-point jockey, permit holder and dual licence holder, and is now an owner, breeder and syndicate member.

She also works closely with the Hampshire Youth Offending team on referral order panels, prison projects and as a victim volunteer in restorative justice.

“I will do my very best to represent those smaller racehorse owners, owner-breeders and syndicate members to make sure their voices are heard and listened to better in the future, across all aspects of this sport we love, whether it’s in decision making at the highest level or improving the raceday experience,” Hamilton-Fairley said.

Meanwhile, Djivanovic was reappointed to the board, having served as a member since 2008. Currently sitting as a trustee to the Retraining of Racehorses and ROA representative on the Whip Review Steering Group, she is a lifelong horse owner and rider.

Djivanovic also previously held a number of non-executive roles at organisations including The Horse Trust, the UK’s oldest horse charity.

“It has been fantastic to co-lead the ROA’s work on corporate governance and the review,” Djivanovic said. “Corporate governance is incredibly important to securing the future of our sport and we still have a lot more to do, not just here but across the sport.”

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