24hr Support Line 0800 6300 443
10 April 2024


Nick Bannister has been named as Racing Welfare’s next Chairman to succeed William Barlow when he completes his term in the summer after five years.

Nick will officially commence his tenure on 12th June but has already been working closely with the charity as part of his induction. He brings with him experience accumulated in a number of relevant roles, not least having served as Chairman at Haydock Park Racecourse since 2020.In parallel, he also manages the family-owned Coniston Hotel & Spa and its associated estate in the Yorkshire Dales.


Prior to this, Nick spent the first 30 years of his career in financial services. Importantly, he has undertaken non-executive roles in several charitable organisations driven by a commitment to supporting community welfare initiatives, notably serving as the Chair of The Countryside Alliance Foundation for six years and over ten years as Deputy Governor of the Hunt Staff Benefit Society.


In addition to his role at Haydock, Nick has long been involved with racing in various capacities, having spent time as an amateur jockey on the point-to-point circuit as well as owning several racehorses, while his eldest son Harry is a professional jump jockey.


Speaking of his appointment, Nick said: “It is an honour to be taking on the role of Chairman for such an important charity that does so much for the wellbeing of the racing industry through supporting its people. They are often the unsung heroes of racing, without whom it simply couldn’t continue, and they deserve an organisation set up to put them first.


“I am very much looking forward to immersing myself in this position and helping Racing Welfare evolve, navigate the challenges ahead and continue the excellent work they do for a cause so close to my heart.”


Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive at Racing Welfare said: “Nick’s vast background of working in finance will undoubtedly be hugely beneficial, but there were two things which really made him stand out. Firstly, his experience of the hospitality industry which shares many parallels with the racing industry, particularly around staffing challenges and the relentless nature of running a 24/7 business. Added to that is his experience of political matters with the Countryside Alliance, which can hopefully serve to further strengthen our relationships with key industry stakeholders.


“We were blessed with a very strong field of candidates, which we believe is in part a reflection of the strides we’ve made with our governance, including bringing in trustees with broad experience beyond racing. It’s humbling that so many quality applicants wanted to be a part of shaping our future and we thank them for their interest in helping our charity and in turn the people we support.”


Outgoing Chairman William Barlow added: “It has been and continues to be a privilege to see the growth, agility and adaptability of Racing Welfare during my time as Chairman and prior to that as a trustee. The charity has navigated through some unprecedented challenging times which continue to have an impact. While preparing to step down, it gives me great comfort to know that I shall be handing over to such a capable pair of hands in Nick, coupled with the skill, expertise and dedication of Dawn and the whole of the Racing Welfare team.”