Two new faces on the Executive Council of the European and Mediterranean Horseracing Federation were confirmed at its recent General Assembly.
Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority, takes over from Will Lambe as Great Britain’s representative. Julie has been CEO of the BHA since January 2021. She is a former member of the BHA Board and was a senior executive with Northern Racing for eight years, including a spell as Managing Director of Uttoxeter. She is one of the most experienced leaders in sport, with a strong background in consumer, operational and regulatory roles, and a clear understanding of the financial challenges facing participants.
As the Operations Director for the FA, Julie was responsible for Wembley Stadium and St George’s Park, the FA training facility. Her early career was with Whitbread Inns as Regional Marketing Director and then with British Airways as Retail Sector Director.
As Chief Executive of British Cycling, she dealt with some significant regulatory challenges. The role has also involved engagement with UK Sport and Sport England over elite funding and growing participation, achieving its target for more than two million cyclists by 2020. Julie worked closely with the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport and the devolved governments in Scotland and Wales through their national cycling bodies. She was responsible for managing British Cycling’s relationship with HSBC UK, its leading sponsor and partner.
When Julie joined the BHA racing was still taking place behind closed doors with the challenges that this presented in terms of both gradually getting spectators safely back to racing during the year and the loss of funding the sport has seen.
Julie is also a member of the Horserace Betting Levy Board and is delighted now to join the EMHF.
Secondly, in an election to replace retired Turkish representative Behcet Homurlu, the Spanish Jockey Club’s Paulino Ojanguren was victorious over candidates from Hungary, Libya and Turkey. Paulino was born in Madrid (1962). After finishing his studies in the Spanish Military Academy (Zaragoza), he got the Military Riding School diploma in 1988. He was then posted to the Thoroughbred Spanish National Stud (Yeguada de Lore Toki, in San Sebastián) where he trained the Stud racehorses to win, among other races, the Spanish Breeder´s Cup and the Gran Premio Nacional.
In 2001, he was posted to the Sport Horses National Stud (Yeguada de Ibio in Santander) as an assistant manager.
Show jumping, eventing and racing amateur rider, he was the Basque Country Three Day Event Champion in 1991 riding his thoroughbred “Bronco” (a re-educated race horse) and won a couple of races in La Zarzuela (Madrid racetrack).
In 2008, he left de Spanish National Stud to manage Chevington Stud in Newmarket where he had the opportunity to send mares to the best British stallions and to breed and to pre-train horses of the quality of Heshem (IRE) (Prix Eugene Adam - Gr 2 -) and Clunia (IRE) (Spanish Oaks).
He joined the Spanish Jockey Club at the end of 2015 as Director of the Technical Committee and racing steward.
He is married with Almudena García del Portillo, an equine veterinarian reproduction specialist herself, and father of three children, Javier, Blanca and Inés.
EMHF Chair, Brian Kavanagh, remarked:
‘I am very pleased that Julie Harrison will be joining the EMHF’s ExCo. Her involvement, as the BHA’s CEO, will further strengthen the Federation.
I am also delighted that Spain is once again represented and congratulate Paulino Ojanguren on his election.’