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Delia Bushell named as new group chief executive at the Jockey Club

Delia Bushell is to take over as Jockey Club group chief executive
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Delia Bushell, instrumental in turning BT into a major sports broadcaster, is to be the next group chief executive of the Jockey Club, succeeding Simon Bazalgette, who is due to step down in the autumn.

Bushell, a leading figure in the sports and media world, spent three years at BT Group as managing director of its TV and sport division and oversaw BT’s sport channels, pay TV platform and digital services, including the acquisition of sports rights such as the English Premier League.

She left BT in 2017 shortly after the broadcaster's successful £1.2 billion bid to retain exclusive rights to live Uefa Champions League football.

Bushell had previously spent 14 years at Sky in a variety of roles, including chief commercial officer of Sky Italia, director of broadband and telephony for Sky UK and managing director for Sky Ireland.  

She is also a non-executive director of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and of Commonwealth Games England, and is on the advisory board of The Telegraph Media Group. 

Bushell said: "I'm excited and honoured to lead this iconic institution. Racing is such an important part of British national life and I am looking forward to working with the talented team at the Jockey Club and wider industry stakeholders to drive its future success. 

"The years to come will be critical for the sport, as we embrace the opportunities and challenges of innovating for fans and racegoers, appealing to new and more diverse audiences, broadening revenue streams, and driving inward investment. I’m looking forward to immersing myself fully into the world of racing and using my wider experience in sport and media to help deliver these goals."

Bushell will join the Jockey Club in early September and, following a handover period, take over from Bazalgette when he stands down in October.

Jockey Club senior steward Sandy Dudgeon

Jockey Club senior steward Sandy Dudgeon said: "With Delia’s experience at the top of media, sport, technology and business management, we are delighted she will join us as our new group chief executive.

"The Jockey Club has a talented team in place, so we needed to make a first-class appointment to lead the group. Over the months and years ahead under Delia’s leadership I am confident the Jockey Club will go from strength-to-strength in order to benefit our sport."

Jockey Club member and sports presenter Clare Balding hailed the news as a "terrific appointment for racing".

Balding tweeted: "Delia will bring energy, imagination, intelligence and a huge knowledge of the media and sports rights world. She will help racing look ahead, work out where it wants to be in 10, 20 years time and, most importantly, get there."

Dudgeon also took the opportunity to thank Bazalgette for his work at the Jockey Club over the last 11 years.

He added: "His leadership helped us to grow commercial revenues significantly, enabling us to return record sums back to British racing. We have improved our facilities considerably, none more so than our flagship £45 million development at Cheltenham. 

"His vision was pivotal to a range of achievements by the industry, including the growth of media rights value, our terrestrial broadcast relationship with ITV, levy reform and the creation of Qipco British Champions Day."

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The Jockey Club has a talented team in place, so we needed to make a first-class appointment to lead the group
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