Stephen Atkin to stand down after 18 years as Racecourse Association chief
The Racecourse Association will need a new chief executive from October after the organisation announced its long-time leader Stephen Atkin has decided to step down after 18 years in charge.
Atkin has been a central figure in British racing politics and during his tenure has overseen the RCA's contribution towards the creation of the BHA, Great British Racing and the Racing Authority.
The 60-year-old, who will leave the RCA at the end of September, also played a key part in bringing into existence in 2015 the sport's tripartite members' agreement between the tracks, BHA and Horsemen's Group.
Atkin, a chartered account, said: "It has been the greatest privilege of my entire career to have served the RCA and British racecourses for the past 18 years.
"I have been fortunate to have worked with five outstanding chairs and with some 30 highly regarded colleagues on the RCA board over this time.
"I have been very lucky to have been part of a fantastic and talented RCA team, to have had the support and camaraderie of the RCA staff, past and present, and to have worked with so many gifted and dedicated people throughout and connected to our wonderful sport.
"I wish all of them the very best for the future."
RCA chairman Maggie Carver said: "Stephen’s service to the racing industry has been exceptional.
"He has never wavered from his determination to act in the best interests of the racecourses and the industry and he has always cared deeply about representing the different interests of racecourses, large and small, to achieve the best and fairest outcome.
"We would like to thank him for his years of dedicated service and wish him well in the future."
BHA chief executive Nick Rust said: “Stephen has been an excellent industry colleague. His knowledgeable and capable input, challenge and actions have helped the industry immensely on key matters such as the members' agreement, levy negotiations and Levy Board activity and expenditure.
"He will be extremely hard to replace, having negotiated the many and varied lines taken by his members with skill and diplomacy.
"He always held the BHA to account in a mature and constructive way on behalf of the racecourses during my time here. I shall miss working with him on industry matters very much.”
Read The Briefing from 8.30am daily on racingpost.com with all the day's latest going, weather, market moves and non-runner news