Changes ahead in racecourse stewarding

William Nunneley

The name of William Nunneley isn’t one that is familiar to many people inside the world of racing, let alone those of us on the outside who take a keen interest in the sport. Yet over the past ten years he has had a key role in ensuring the effective running of racing, with a particular responsibility for applying the rules of racing.

Those of us who don’t recognise the name needn’t spend to long trying to fix it in our memory. It was announced yesterday that Nunneley is to retire from his post as Head of Stewarding for the British Horseracing Authority in March next year, when he reaches the age of 65. He’s clearly held in very high regard by his employers, as Jamie Stier, Director of Raceday Operations and Regulation for the BHA made clear. He said, “William’s shoes will be very hard to fill. His experience is unmatched and he has been a tremendous contributor to the sport.”

There’s no surprise that Nunneley is so well thought of, as he has been a racing official for more than 30 years now. He started as a part time judge in 1980, and then between 1985 and 2002 was a Stewards’ Secretary. He was appointed Senior Stipendiary Steward, a post he held for six years before the role was expanded to lead all aspects of stewarding under the new job title of Head of Stewarding.

His decision to retire next year gives the BHA a tricky decision to make. They are currently undertaking a review of all BHA Raceday Services, including on course stewarding arrangements. Taking forward some of the findings of that review will fall to the Head of Stewarding. The BHA will need to think long and hard whether that is best done by drawing on Nunneley’s vast experience, or whether to wait until next year, when it would provide the new Head of Stewarding with an early opportunity to make their mark.

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1 reply
  1. Stuart W Hogg says:

    The area of NH racing I would love to see sddressed by the stewards is the inefficiency of starters. I think they should be subject to fines if they make a complete mess of the start, as they often do to the disadvantage of some and to the advantage of others. Jockeys play a part in this recurring shambles too and a form of discipline needs to be brought in in that direction. This is something I would like the BHA to address with some urgency.

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