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Monday, June 28, 2004


Racing UK, horse racing's leading independent dedicated television channel which launched at the end of last month, today unveiled its management team and outlined the structure of the company, its aims and objectives.

There are eight members of the Board, led by Simon Bazalgette, who joined the channel as a consultant in April and, as Executive Chairman, takes on overall responsibility for the management of the company.

A chartered accountant, Bazalgette was manager of KPMG Media Consulting before becoming Chief Executive of Music Choice Europe plc., a listed company providing a digital broadcast service on cable and satellite to more than 14 million homes across Europe, in which BSkyB, Time Warner and Sony had significant stakes.

He will be joined in the day-to-day running of the channel by Andrew Brown, a former Director of Business Development at Granada Television, who, as Project Director, orchestrated the successful launch of Racing UK and takes on the role of Chief Operating Officer.

Will Wyatt, formerly Director of Television at the BBC and an avid racing enthusiast, whose extensive experience of providing high quality television should prove a valuable asset to the channel, joins the Board as an independent non-executive director.

Brian Mehl, Chief Executive Officer of Phumelela, the South African horseracing and betting operator with whom Racing UK have an international rights arrangement, becomes a board member with Phumelela's Brian Rogers acting as alternate director.

The racecourse representatives are Andrew Gould, Finance Director of Racecourse Holdings Trust, John Sanderson, Chairman of International Racecourse Management, Bill Farnsworth, General Manager of Musselburgh racecourse and Sally Iggulden, Manager of Beverley racecourse. Sarah Hordern, Finance Director of Newbury racecourse will act as alternate director for John Sanderson.

Commenting on the structure of his board, Bazalgette said, "The Board provides a good mix of racecourse representatives, executive management and independents which can draw upon a diverse and wide range of skills and expertise and I look forward very much to working with the various members of the team."

Speaking at a press briefing in central London today, Bazalgette added, "I am pleased with the way the channel is progressing and have every confidence in its business model, having already underwritten a significant proportion of the company's costs from the deal with Phumelela and the Tote for the exploitation of international rights. Through Racing UK, the sport is able for the first time to control and exploit its media rights for the benefit of racing as a whole."

The ground swell of support for the channel continues to grow with some of the industry's leading organisations, including the Racehorse Owners Association, the National Trainers' Federation and the European Breeders' Fund all lending their backing.

Board member biographies

Simon Bazalgette (age 42) between 1999 and 2003 was Chief Executive of Music Choice Europe plc., leading its successful floatation on the London Stock Exchange in October 2000. Music Choice was a start-up in 1993, with major shareholders including Time Warner, Sony and BSkyB. Simon was one of the company's original Directors and under his leadership it rolled out to more than 14 million homes in Europe via satellite, cable and broadband, growing annual turnover to £10 million.

While at Music Choice he co-founded and was President of the European Digital Media Association, an important lobbying trade body based in Brussels. Prior to Music Choice, he spent ten years at KPMG, where he qualified as a chartered accountant before becoming manager of KPMG Media Consulting.

He is also a Trustee and Non-Executive Director of the Grubb Institute, a charitable foundation that carries out research and consulting into the dynamics of leadership in organisation systems such as businesses, schools, the health service, etc.

Andrew Brown (age 39) was Director of Business Development of Granada plc., from 1998 until 2003, prior to which he worked for two years as a management consultant with the internationally renowned Mercer Management Consulting.

Before that he worked for six years as a solicitor in Sydney with Baker & McKenzie, the world's largest law firm, and as corporate solicitor for Delta Gold, a mining company.

His academic qualifications include an MBA from INSEAD in France and an LLM and a BSc from the University of Sydney.

Will Wyatt, CBE (age 62) formerly Director of Television at the BBC, he began his journalistic career as a trainee reporter on the Sheffield Telegraph in 1964. Joined BBC radio as a sub-editor the following year.

He moved to BBC television in 1968 and was a producer from 1970 until 1977 after which he held a number of management positions rising to Chief Executive, BBC Broadcast in 1996, a post he held for three years.

The author of several books, he has published numerous articles on broadcasting and is currently Chairman, Human Capital Limited, and a Director of the Vitec Group.

Andrew Gould (age 46) a chartered accountant, joined Racecourse Holdings Trust Limited, a subsidiary of the Jockey Club, in 1987, becoming Finance Director in 1995. Racecourse Holdings Trust owns and operates 13 racecourses in the United Kingdom, including Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom, Newmarket and Sandown Park.

He is also a Board Director of RaceTech Limited, the specialist facilities company responsible for the management of starting stalls, photo-finish, camera patrol and the provision of horse racing pictures which includes the Racing UK product.

John Sanderson (age 62) a chartered accountant, he has been at the centre of racing's political spectrum for more than thirty years, having served as a director of the Racecourse Association at Board and committee levels and as a member of the Horserace Totalisator Board.

Currently a member of the British Horseracing Board, his first major appointment in racing was as clerk of the course at York, a post he held from 1972 until 1986.

Now one of the country's leading racecourse administrators with a reputation for innovation and entrepreneurial flair, he is Chairman of International Racecourse Management which administers Catterick, Doncaster, Redcar and Wetherby racecourses and is responsible for racecourse development in Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.

Bill Farnsworth (age 35) has a BA Honours Degree in Business Studies from Hull University. He is currently General Manager at Musselburgh, a position he has held since 1998.

A member of the Racecourse Association Race Planning Group and the Racecourse Association Technical Group, he is also the RCA's representative on the Jockey Club Racecourse Committee.

He was previously clerk of the course at Hamilton Park and his other racing experience includes work with trainer Mick Easterby and breeder Lady Nelson.

Sally Iggulden (age 27) a graduate from Wye College, University of London in 1997 with a degree in Agricultural Business Management, was born in Kent.

Gained a place on the BHB Graduate Development Programme when sponsored by Ascot racecourse, and after a spell with Racenews, the specialist racing news agency, she joined the Racecourse Association in January, 1998 as Racecourse Services Assistant.

Became the youngest ever racecourse manager when she joined Beverley in 2000 at the age of 23 and earlier this year qualified as a clerk of the course.

Brian Mehl (age 59) was appointed Chief Executive of Phumelela in 1998. He was involved with the Gauteng racing industry's corporatisation process, playing a pivotal role in negotiations with the Provincial Government and was previously a Steward of Gosforth Park Turf Club where he chaired the finance committee.

Prior to joining Phumelela, he was Chief Executive of ISM and subsequently Information Services Group Limited, which positions he held from 1988 until his retirement in 1995. He was then appointed non-executive Deputy Chairman of IBM SA Limited until his resignation from that Board in 1997.

Structure of Racing UK Board

Simon Bazalgette - Executive Chairman
Andrew Brown - Chief Operating Officer

Will Wyatt - Independent Director
Andrew Gould - Director
John Sanderson - Director
Bill Farnsworth - Director
Sally Iggulden - Director
Brian Mehl - Director
Sarah Hordern - Alternate Director
Brian Rogers - Alternate Director

Offices ~
Racing UK, Tote House, 74 Upper Richmond Road, London, SW15 2SU. Telephone - 0870 735 9150.

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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