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British Racing School chief to step down

Grant Harris is set to step down as chief executive of the British Racing School (BRS) at the end of the year to become head of the Alborada Trust, the charitable foundation set up by Kirsten Rausing.

Harris, 58, has spent nine years at the helm of the BRS in Newmarket since taking over from Rory MacDonald, during which time the school was awarded Outstanding status by Ofsted for the first time in 2018.

He said: “It’s been my great privilege to run the British Racing School. I took over a thriving organisation, and I like to think I have carried on where Rory left off.

"I have loved every minute, as no two days are the same as the school responds to the challenges of having many masters from the Department of Education, Ofsted, the BHA and its customers – racehorse trainers. 

“It’s a challenging role but anything worthwhile is challenging. The pupils and the staff are what make the school. I have been fortunate enough to surround myself with good people, but now is the time to move on.”

He added: “I will miss school life, but joining the Alborada Trust is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Kirsten and the trust’s work helps so many fantastic charitable organisations change the lives of people and animals. The impact of the trust around the world is staggering.”

The BRS offers training and education for people entering horseracing, with the likes of former champion jockeys Oisin Murphy and Paul Hanagan, plus Tom Marquand, Luke Morris and many more attending the school since it was established in 1983.

Harris was thanked for his work at the BRS by chair Julia Budd, who said: “Grant’s contribution to the BRS over the last nine years leaves the school in a strong position. It’s a centre of excellence for training of which the industry can be proud. On behalf of the board of trustees I would like to thank Grant and extend our best wishes to him for the future.”

Harris, who is currently secretary of the Alborada Trust, steps up to chief executive on January 1 next year, with the search for his replacement at the BRS starting immediately.

The Alborada Trust was founded in 2001 by Rausing, the owner of Lanwades Stud just outside Newmarket and a member of the billionaire Tetra Pak family.

Since its creation, the trust has given grants of £30 million to human and animal causes around the world, according to its website.

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