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New chairman for Epsom Downs

Brian Finch will succeed Julia Budd as the Chair of Epsom Downs Racecourse, The Jockey Club announced on Tuesday. 

The appointment will take effect from Monday 5th June, immediately after the 2022 Cazoo Derby when Julia Budd’s term concludes. 

A passionate racing fan since childhood visits to Borrowdale Racecourse in Harare, Zimbabwe, Brian has been involved in racehorse ownership for more than 25 years in various countries including the UK.

Also a keen student of bloodstock and pedigrees, his first experience at Epsom Downs came in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year of 2012. Brian joined the Epsom Racecourse Committee in 2021.

Brian, who has had a home in Epsom since 2005, spent most of his working career with a British multinational company. Currently retired, Brian is a member of the Racecourse Committee at Sandown Park Racecourse and a Trustee of the National Horseracing Museum.

Brian Finch, picture The Jockey Club

Julia Budd became Chair at Epsom Downs in June 2016 and during her tenure has overseen a rise in The Derby’s prize money value to £1.5million, ensuring it remains the richest race run in the UK.

Her leadership was instrumental through the challenges created by the pandemic and her term has also seen the strengthening of ties between the racecourse and the local community in which it sits.  

Brian Finch said:  “I am delighted and hugely honoured to succeed Julia at Epsom Downs, a racecourse that will soon host the 243rd running of the iconic Derby. 

“I very much look forward to working with the Jockey Club team to build on the great work of my immediate and past predecessors ensuring that the Derby and Epsom Downs racecourse continue to remain part of the national social fabric.”

Sandy Dudgeon, Senior Steward of The Jockey Club, said: “I am delighted that Brian has agreed to become Chair of Epsom Downs Racecourse following this year’s historic Derby. 

“His experience both inside the racing industry and beyond, coupled with his huge enthusiasm for the sport and Epsom Downs will be a huge asset as our stewardship of this iconic racing venue and its most famous race enters a new and exciting chapter.     

“I must also thank Julia for her dedication, time and wise counsel in her time as Chair. 

“Her guidance in navigating the unprecedented challenges of the last two years has been invaluable and this year’s Derby and its place in the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations will be a fitting way to end her term. 

“She does so with my best wishes and the sincerest thanks of all at The Jockey Club.”

Julia Budd said: "It has been a privilege to serve as the Chair of Epsom Downs Racecourse for the last six years and to have worked with such a brilliant committee. 

“My thanks go to the team and the local training community for the support they have given throughout my tenure. 

“To me, The Derby will always remain as the greatest Flat race in the world!” 

                 
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