Paul Fisher is set to stand down as the chief executive of Jockey Club Racecourses next month, after an association with the organisation dating back 19 years.
Fisher joined the Jockey Club in 2001 as finance director of the body’s three London-based racecourses before taking over as managing director of the Kempton Park course in 2005. He became chief operating officer of Jockey Club Racecourses – the subsidiary which manages the Jockey Club’s 15 venues nationwide – in 2008, its managing director in 2013, and finally chief executive in 2017. He will officially leave the company in February.
During that time, Fisher has been responsible for overseeing three of the UK’s biggest annual horse racing events – the Cheltenham Festival, the Grand National and the Epsom Derby – among over 300 other fixtures each year.
He said: “After 19 fantastic years at The Jockey Club, and more than ten of those running Jockey Club Racecourses, I’ve decided it’s time for a fresh challenge. I’m proud of the commercial growth, record prize money contributions and significant improvements to our facilities and the overall customer experience we’ve been able to deliver around the country at our courses, large and small.”
The move comes at a time of change for the wider Jockey Club, which last year appointed former BT Sport managing director Delia Bushell to replace its own long-standing group chief executive Simon Bazalgette, who had been in the role for over a decade.
Despite difficulties for the horse racing industry, which has been challenged by a decline in media rights revenues owing to government legislation limiting the maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals, the Racecourses side of the business has been performing strongly in recent times, and finding a replacement for Fisher will be an early test of Bushell’s reign. SportBusiness understands that no succession plans have yet been drawn up.
Bushell added: “Paul has led an outstanding period of commercial growth and raised the bar on our Jockey Club Racecourses’ quality of service. I would like to thank him for his leadership, energy and the passion he has shown for racing in every aspect of our business. He can be very proud of what he’s helped to achieve, and I wish him every success in the future.”