Racehorse Owners Association appoints Louise Norman to become permanent chief executive

The Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) has named Louise Norman as its permanent chief executive, filling one of the many vacant positions at the head of British racing's leadership.

Norman had been installed as interim chief executive in May following the abrupt departure of her predecessor Charlie Liverton.

The ROA's board met last week to discuss and vote on Norman's appointment, which was unanimously approved with immediate effect.

ROA president Charlie Parker said: "I'm delighted Louise Norman has taken the reins at the ROA with such enthusiasm and skill. 

"The executive team, and the full board, have been impressed with her refreshing approach and are delighted she has accepted the CEO position on a permanent basis. 

"I would like also to thank industry colleagues who have given her their vote of confidence and support."

Norman, who had previously been the ROA's head of ownership, joined the body as part of its executive in January 2020 after 20 years working for Weatherbys.

She said: "I'm excited to take on the role of permanent CEO at the ROA. As interim CEO, I've seen first hand the dedication and talent of our team and the strong support from the board and our stakeholders. 

"This is an exciting time for the ROA, and we have a huge opportunity to refresh our approach and strengthen the voice of owners, to ensure we advocate on their behalf so that their interests are well represented and supported. I look forward to leading the ROA into the future and achieving our strategic goals together."

The ROA will be hoping the appointment of Norman will provide some stability at the organisation.

Its leadership had come under fire amid criticism that the organisation was not representing owners' interests, with some members calling for the resignation of both Liverton and Parker.

Liverton resigned in May "to pursue other opportunities" after more than eight years in the role, while corporate affairs director Andy Clifton has also left the ROA in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, the BHA and Jockey Club are both looking for new chief executives following the news that Julie Harrington and Nevin Truesdale respectively are set to leave those bodies by the end of this year.

The BHA is advertising for a new chair with Joe Saumarez Smith set to stand down next spring, while Racecourse Media Group last week announced that its chief executive Martin Stevenson is also set to leave.