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Racecourse Association names David Armstrong as new CEO

| By iGB Editorial Team
Former Wasps rugby club chief, and racehorse owner, takes charge of body that represents UK racecourses' interests

David Armstrong has been named as the new chief executive of the Racecourse Association (RCA), the body that represents 59 British racecourses.

Armstrong was formerly the chief executive of the group that owns Premiership Rugby club Wasps, and has also held senior roles at food and drink corporations such as PepsiCo, Compass Group and Diageo, as well as at UK conglomerate Lonrho.

Armstrong, who has been a racehorse owner with prominent trainer William Muir, will assume the position with the RCA in March. He will replace Stephen Atkin, who resigned as RCA chief executive in August 2018 after 18 years at the helm.

“David brings extensive and valuable experience across the sports and leisure industries as well as a background in finance,” said RCA chairman Maggie Carver.

“I am confident David will be a vital asset in the future development of racecourses as well as the sport as a whole. The full RCA team is looking forward to welcoming him and to working together.”

The RCA works on behalf of racecourses to represent their views within the sport through the tripartite structure of the Members’ Agreement alongside BHA and The Horsemen’s Group, and also with the government and other bodies.

Last year, the RCA was instrumental in the foundation of the Racing Authority to replace the Horserace Betting Levy Board from April 2019. Led by former UK government minister Sir Hugh Robertson, the organisation has been designed to grant racing more control over its spending.

“I am delighted and honoured to be joining the RCA at such an important time in the evolution of the sport,” Armstrong said of his new position.

“I hope I can bring my varied experiences from across the sporting landscape to bear in developing our racecourses and the sport in general.”

Armstrong will retain his positions as chairman of Pentathlon GB, the national governing body of penathlon in the UK, non-executive director of Wasps Holdings and advisory board member at investment group Oakwell Capital upon taking up his new role.

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