JOE Saumarez Smith will continue in his role as British Horseracing Authority chair after announcing he has been diagnosed with lung cancer and will start treatment later this month.

Saumarez Smith (51) took on the role in June 2022 after previously joining the BHA board as an independent director in December 2014.

“In the interest of transparency and openness from the BHA, we thought it was best to confirm this news publicly,” said Saumarez Smith.


“It is obviously not ideal to have this diagnosis, but I am confident I can keep working with all our stakeholders to deliver the strategic priorities that were agreed last September.”

Julie Harrington, chief executive of the BHA, said: “While we are of course concerned for our friend and colleague, we know Joe will fight this illness with all the determination and resilience that has been a feature of his career to date.

“It is testament to him that he is keen to continue in his role for as long as the treatment allows.

“He has the full support and best wishes of everyone on the BHA board in doing so.

“I am sure I can speak for everyone at the BHA and across the industry in wishing him good luck during his treatment.”

David Jones, the senior independent director of the BHA, will be available to substitute for Saumarez Smith at industry events if he is unable to attend, as well as other BHA board members if required.