Huntingdon Racecourse will welcome its new chairman as racing gets under way for the first time in 2019 on Friday (January 11).
Following his appointment by The Jockey Club, Julian Taylor has succeeded Paul Taiano, who stepped down at the end of 2018 from the position he held for nine years.
Taylor, who has been a member of the committee at Huntingdon Racecourse since last January, recently retired from the City insurance world after a near 40-year career during which he served as a board member and a senior partner of international insurance brokers Miller Insurance Services LLP. For the last 12 months he has also been a non-executive director of Weatherbys Hamilton, the specialist private client insurance broker.
He is a successful racehorse owner with trainers Venetia Williams, Harry Fry and Lucy Wadham in England and Henry De Bromhead in Ireland. His interest and involvement in racing stretch back to early childhood in the 1960s and both his father and grandfather rode over fences. Julian rode in point to point races and hunter chases as an owner/rider for 13 years.
Taylor, who lives locally to Huntingdon Racecourse, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed by The Jockey Club to become chairman of Huntingdon Racecourse. I pay tribute to the enormous contribution made by my predecessor Paul Taiano over nine years as chairman and 24 years on the committee of the racecourse.
“We are also saying farewell to Joey Newton, who has also been a most valued member of the committee. I am very pleased to welcome as new members both Jane Wallace, a most experienced horse woman and a former Olympic selector, and Philip Would, who brings extensive business experience in the field of investing in infrastructure projects.
“I am very much looking forward to supporting the excellent executive team that we have at Huntingdon, led by general manager Liam Johnson. All the members of the team play their part in making the racecourse a positive and friendly place for everyone, including racehorse owners, trainers, jockeys, stable staff, as well as annual members and all our visitors.
“The racecourse is in a good place at the moment and that was reflected in the award by the Racegoers Club last year of the title of ‘best small racecourse in the Midlands’.
“Huntingdon Racecourse enjoys the considerable benefits of being part of The Jockey Club which has made significant investments over the years. The venue is also very much a key player in the local community and makes a valuable contribution to the economy as part of the business community.”
On Friday – Weatherbys Go Racing Raceday - racing gets under way at 1pm.
The feature contest is the £25,000 Weatherbys Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle. The two-mile race has attracted many stars of the future over the years, including the 2016 winner Sceau Royal who has gone on to become a top-class horse and is set to contest the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Advance purchase of adult tickets for Friday is just £10 (£15 on the day). Tickets can be purchased at http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk or by calling 0844 579 3007.