Paul Struthers is to stand down as chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association after nearly 10 years in the role.
Dale Gibson, who retired from race riding in 2009 prior to joining the PJA initially as industry liaison officer before becoming executive director (racing) in 2015, has been appointed interim chief executive.
The announcement comes in the wake of criticism of the PJA leadership following the Bryony Frost/Robbie Dunne disciplinary hearing.
In a statement, Struthers said: “Throughout my time at the PJA, I have been extremely fortunate to represent jockeys who I have nothing but complete admiration for. In my dealings with hundreds of jockeys over the years, I have learned a huge amount from them and have tried to treat everyone with sincerity, respect and decency.
“Due to the relentless nature of their lives, jockeys rightly need the PJA to be available at all times and this role is a way of life, not a job. As many in racing will empathise, this has taken a significant toll on my family and personal life, and it is the right time to step aside.
“Representing the courageous, dedicated and resilient men and women who make up our diverse membership has been the greatest privilege of my career. I would like to thank everyone that has supported me in my role and I am incredibly proud of what the PJA has achieved over the last 10 years. This is only possible thanks to a talented, hard-working team who share a passion for the job and an incredibly supportive membership.
“Finally, I am very confident that any recommendations and improved procedures that the PJA and the sport puts in place will serve all our members well and improve their lives. They deserve nothing less.”
On behalf of the PJA, chairman Jon Holmes said: “It is with regret that we have accepted Paul’s resignation, but we understand and accept Paul’s decision. Paul has given a decade of his life to tirelessly striving to improve the lives of our jockeys. I and the whole team here want to pay tribute to Paul and thank him for everything he has done across a decade of selfless service.”
Gibson said: “I am pleased to accept the offer from the PJA board. With support from the small, hardworking PJA team, the restructured board and advisory groups, I look forward to continuing representing professional jockeys both on and off the course, building on previous initiatives whilst also progressing important ongoing work within the industry.
“Under Paul’s leadership a number of improvements have been achieved, benefiting all our members. I have enjoyed working with Paul during his tenure at the PJA and on behalf of our members we send Paul and his family our very best wishes for the future.”
Struthers succeeded Kevin Darley in February 2012 and joined the PJA board in April 2013.