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Balding's 'huge honour' at becoming member of the Jockey Club

Clare Balding: following in family footsteps
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Award-winning broadcaster and journalist Clare Balding has been appointed a member of the Jockey Club following the group's winter meeting on Monday.

Godolphin chief executive John Ferguson was also named among seven new members while former Jockey Club executive director Christopher Foster has been made an honorary member.

Balding will be following in the footsteps of her grandmother Priscilla Hastings, who was one of the first three women to be elected Jockey Club members in 1977, and her father Ian who is an honorary member of the organisation.

"It's a huge honour," Balding said on Monday. "It's a good way of keeping my connection with racing and making sure I can contribute something. I'll be very interested to see how it all works."

Members of the Jockey Club are appointed for their knowledge and experience of horseracing.

Balding added: "I was really surprised my name was suggested and I'm thrilled. Hopefully the knowledge I have of the media side of things can benefit racing overall because I do think there are ways in which, as a sport, we can make life easier for ourselves."

John Ferguson: Godolphin chief executive is one of seven new Jockey Club members

Ferguson becomes a Jockey Club member following roles including being Sheikh Mohammed's principal bloodstock advisor for more than 25 years as well as being a former jumps and point-to-point trainer and assistant trainer to Sir Michael Stoute.

Other new members include Simon Clarke, a trustee of the Jockey Club's charity Racing Welfare and chairman of its housing association Racing Homes and formerly vice chairman of the Racecourse Association. His late father Sir Stan Clarke was also a member of the Jockey Club.

Wincanton chairman and long-time racecourse steward Jo Hepburn is also among the new members, as is Olympic and World medal-winning event rider Ian Stark who is on the BHA stewarding committee for Scotland and the north of England and is a member of the BHA disciplinary committee.

Tim Snyder and William Wyatt, who are executive committee members at Epsom and Newmarket respectively, complete the new members.

Honorary member Christopher Foster is one of the most experienced professionals working in British horseracing. He retired as executive director of the Jockey Club in 2006 following a 30-year career in the sport's regulation.

Jockey Club senior steward Roger Weatherby said: "I should like to welcome our new members announced today.

"Each brings unique expertise to the Jockey Club and a real passion for our sport that can help us in our mission to further British racing."

E.W. Terms