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Tuesday , November , 20 2018

About the WiR Mentor Programme


Mentoring is a key objective of Women in Racing (WiR) and the group is delighted with the success of this formal programme with senior members as mentors, based in Scotland and northern England right through the midlands and the south across all facets of the industry.

Mentors cover non-executive, corporate and entrepreneurial ambitions. The objective is to provide WiR members who cross many of the communities in racing with tailored support, encouragement, guidance and contacts as needed to help ensure that talented people can develop.

The door is always open for new mentors and mentees to join the programme, which remains a free benefit as part of your WiR membership. For more information or to join the programme, please contact Lauren Dobson.



Our Current Mentors 

Rachel is a Consultant solicitor with London-based Keystone Law, working in the horseracing and equine sector. Rachel led Taylor Vinters' internationally rated team for almost 20 years before being recruited to the board of Weatherbys as Racing and Stud Book Director. In 2015 Rachel returned to her legal roots as an employment lawyer and horseracing specialist. She is also an experienced people manager, advising on human resources and personnel issues and undertaking relevant non-law consultancy assignments in the right areas.

Rachel is a prolific speaker and trainer and has delivered training on a variety of topics to TBA, NTF, The National Stud, British Equine Veterinary Association and at the US National Annual Equine Lawyers Conference in Kentucky.

Before qualifying as a lawyer, Rachel worked in racing in a yard, rode as an amateur on the flat and has bred a winner. She rides out for her Newmarket trainer husband Rae Guest.

See also


Dawn has been Chief Executive of Racing Welfare since August 2015.  Racing Welfare is the charity that supports all racing’s workforce with a whole range of challenges, including physical and mental wellbeing, financial management, relationship and bereavement support and career development through the provision of information, advice and guidance, counselling and the facilitation of appropriate medical treatment as well as financial grants.  As part of her role at Racing Welfare, she is also CEO of Racing Homes, Racing’s own housing association and Epsom Racing Staff Welfare, a small independent charity with similar aims and objectives to RW.  Dawn also became a trustee of the National Association of Stable Staff at the beginning of 2016.

Prior to joining Racing Welfare, Dawn was Chief Executive of the Northern Racing College between 2008 and 2015. 


A lifelong racing enthusiast, Dawn's interest has been in the development of people.  Formerly in the field of educating young people about business in general and heritage and rural industries specifically. For the three years prior to joining the NRC Dawn worked for The Duke of Devonshire, and was responsible for establishing the Devonshire Educational Trust (DET). The DET was set up to develop educational programmes on each of the Duke's estates, primarily at Chatsworth in Derbyshire and Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire.
For the 13 years prior to that she was Chief Executive of the Countryside Foundation for Education, a charity that seeks to educate young people about the British countryside as a living, working environment. Whilst in this role Dawn was involved in setting up BHEST (the British Horseracing Education Standards Trust) schools programme, and evaluating its first three years.
Dawn is a member of the BHA’s Industry Recruitment, Training and Education Committee, determining policy for the industry, as well as recently being appointed as an Advisory Board Member for the Liverpool University British Thoroughbred Horseracing MBA.


Noel has served on the Board of the Tote for more than four years as the UK Government appointee and is also a board member for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).

With her husband, she owns Goose Creek Farm in Millbrook, New York. Together, they bred and raced their own homebreds for 20 years in New York, with winners at Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct. They continue to own the farm but no longer breed. They now buy yearlings in the UK and Ireland and race in the UK. They have been in partnership with several friends for many years and have had many Group winners in the UK. 

Noel also remains active in the USA with the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs. She also continues to serve on several boards including Standard Life and the London Metal Exchange as well as being the chairman of GE Capital Bank Europe.


Penny Boys is former Deputy Chairman of the Horserace Betting Levy Board and senior civil servant. Also, a former Executive Director of the Office of Fair Trading, Chief Executive of the Competition Commission, Deputy Director of Electricity Regulation and Head of Personnel at Department of Trade and Industry.


She is presently a Non-Executive Director at the Office for Nuclear Regulation and a member of the Consumers Committee for The National Housebuilders Council.


Penny is an enthusiastic racegoer and punter. She is a patron of Women in Racing and a member of the Elite Racing Club.


Sarah has operated at board level for more than 14 years as COO, Joint Managing Director, CFO and NED initially at Newbury Racecourse plc and latterly at Meyrick Estate Management, a property management company with residential, commercial, leisure and rural interests in Bournemouth, the New Forest and Anglesey. She has extensive knowledge of the commercial elements of the racing industry and racecourse management having been involved in the operation and financial management of one of the leading racecourses for 15 years. She also led the public consultation on the 2015 Fixture List for the BHA as a Strategic Consultant. Her experience at Newbury led her to move into the property industry and her appointment as a Non-Executive Director of Newbury Building Society.

Projects have included...

Operations: Jointly responsible for operation of leading leisure and entertainment venue with 30 racedays per year, racing attendances of up to 30,000, hosted international bands including Rod Stewart, Simply Red and Rita Ora.

Media rights: Key role in the creation of an alternative media company for racing, Racecourse Media Group (RMG) following the collapse of the industry deal with Sky. RMG has grown racecourse licence fees from £15m to more than £60m in 10 years.

Finance: Led all aspects of listed PLC financial reporting and investor relations from 1999 acting as the public face of the company. Negotiated bank finance and other loan relationships, led systems and controls implementation, raceday operational finance and company secretarial.

Corporate transactions: Led successful defence of a hostile takeover bid; rights issue raising £6.4m; share buyback.

Property development: Led £350m redevelopment project for the racecourse estate including 1,500 new homes, hotel, golf course, refurbishment of racecourse operational areas and new access across the railway.


Pip worked for The Jockey Club managing both Market Rasen and Nottingham Racecourses, before moving to take on the role of Chief Executive of The Pony Club. In this role she provided valuable experience of the NFP sector, balancing with the extensive commercial knowledge gained whilst managing racecourses. A qualified coach, Pip also brings operational, management and strategic experience, together with extensive knowledge of the racing industry. She has worked with the BHA, and is currently working with the ROA.

Peta Hitchens MVPHMgt, PhD – Health, Safety and Welfare

Peta is a researcher in the fields of occupational health and safety and animal health and welfare, with specific focus on the horse racing industry.

Peta has provided advice to the National Jockey Safety Review Committee in Australia, regularly liaises with the Australian Jockeys’ Association on matters of safety, speaks at the International Conference for the Health Safety and Welfare of Jockeys, and was a member of the US Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit committee on Racing Equipment and Safety.

In addition to her academic career, Peta has considerable industry experience. Most notably, in the middle of her PhD she took six months off to assist and manage the Tasmanian Thoroughbred racing industry through a major re-structure and was appointed Operations Manager (Thoroughbreds) with the Tasmanian Racing Board.

Peta is currently a Research Fellow in the Equine Orthopaedic Research Group, University of Melbourne, Australia. She would be happy to provide advice to anyone interested in pursuing graduate studies or an academic career related to equine research aimed at benefiting the racing industry.


Clare is the daughter of the racehorse trainer, James Bethell.  She realised early in her career that to have skills outside the racing industry was going to be hugely beneficial so on leaving University Clare trained as a chartered accountant with PwC.  This was invaluable experience working with PwC both in London and in Sydney.  In Australia she took the brave decision to switch careers and become a recruitment consultant.  The skills you learn in recruitment are far reaching particularly when it comes to business development and working with a whole range of clients and candidates from right around the world.  Clare was given the opportunity to set up her own recruitment business in 2008.  The trials and tribulations of starting your own company during a global financial crisis was undoubtedly challenging but hugely enriching and Clare would credit where she is today from the experience she gained.  Clare went on to join HFG, a specialist insurance recruitment firm in the City, opening their first offices in Asia and contributing significantly to their growth internationally.  In 2014, she left her role as a Director of the company to get back into racing where she always intended to be in.  Joining Weatherbys Hamilton, the insurance broking arm of Weatherbys has been hugely rewarding and despite taking exams again to be in a professional role in the industry she loves.
As a mentor, Clare can support you with juggling studies with your professional career, launching your own business both in the UK and overseas, changing careers as well as valuable advice when it comes to recruiting or being recruited.  Clare has received training in Life Coaching and is an advocate of mentoring men and women to set and achieve their career goals.

Dena has been an owner and breeder for more than 20 years and has bred the winners of 70 races including a Royal Ascot winner, a Chester Vase winner and a Tattersalls Book 1 Sales race winner.

In 2005 she was elected to represent British racehorse owners on the Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) Council and then joined the ROA Executive Committee. In 2007, she represented owners on the BHA Code of Practice Working Group ensuring integrity and transparency within the Bloodstock Sales arena. From 2010-2013 she sat on the board and editorial team of Thoroughbred Owner and Breeder magazine and was company Secretary.

After graduating from Cambridge, Dena spent 15 years in the City where she was head of secondary Eurobond trading and a managing director at Credit Suisse.

She now runs her own executive coaching and consultancy business, Ad Libitum, specialising in individual performance, transition and leadership. She coaches extensively in racing and the City, was a coach on Dame Kelly Holmes Trust's Elite Coaching Programme and has acted as an independent panel member for Defra. She designed Women in Racing's Mentoring Programme and has lectured on role transition to 100 Women in Hedge Funds in Geneva.


• Partner in Private Client Tax Services in Smith & Williamson LLP
• Previously partner James Cowper LLP.


Academic and Professional Qualifications
• BSc Business Administration University of Bath
• Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (CA)
• Member of the Chartered Institute of Tax (CIOT)
• Member of Trust & Estate Practitioners (TEP)



• Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland Scottish Taxes Committee
• Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA) Bloodstock Taxation Group

Primarily involved in giving taxation advice; in particular, to the bloodstock and horse industry. I work as part of a team providing financial and tax advice to the bloodstock and horse industry. This role is as wide ranging as the people involved in the business, ranging from breeders with international interests to breeders with 2 mares. We are frequently involved in disputes with HMRC in horse related cases.


List 1 Dressage Judge. Keen interest in racing having been brought up with horses, and have been involved directly with horses in some description throughout life.


Sally has spent more than 35 years working internationally in business as both an entrepreneur and within large companies. She began working in banking in New York and continued to develop her career with multinational investment banks when she moved to London in 1986. She has worked for 17 years in banking, complemented by 18 years in executive search. Having been a Senior Partner in the largest global executive search firm and leading the Financial Services practice, she started up her own search and career consultancy business five years ago ( Since 2005, she has also owned a commercial property business in the United States, employing a management team to operate the business on a daily basis.

Sally became involved in racing as an owner and has been on the Council of the Racehorse Owners Association (2004-2012) and served on its Executive Committee from 2007-2011. She created the Gold Standard and Free Lease Schemes as well as participated in a variety of cross-industry groups. She has also been a small breeder. A National Hunt enthusiast as heart, Sally has been lucky enough to own Grade 1 and Grade 2 steeplechasers. She has also owned flat horses as a sole owner and in partnerships.

She founded Women in Racing (WiR) in 2009, believing that more women on the various governing boards could only help racing improve its corporate governance, financial condition and develop healthier relationships across the industry. She remains the Chair of WiR.

Sally graduated from Williams College and possesses an MBA from New York University, having also studied at London Business School. In January 2012 she was awarded the Freedom of the City of London. She currently serves on the board of Oxford Brookes Business School and has also served on the board of the International Women's Forum, UK and as a Trustee of The Pony Club.

Based in South Oxfordshire, Sally can provide advice for mentees wishing to progress their careers within an organisation or individuals with entrepreneurial ambitions looking to start up their own business.

Region: Bucks/Berks/Oxon/London


I'm an independent consultant in international racing business development. After a career of 15 years in on-course management and marketing fields in the USA and Canada, I decided to move to the UK in 2009. I spent more than three successful years as the Head of International Racing Business Development for Betfair before starting my own company in 2013.

One of the things that make me unique is an in-depth knowledge across multiple sectors in the industry, their economics, how they work together and how they work across major racing jurisdictions around the world.

I have deep roots in marketing and growing the fan, bettor and ownership bases of our sport. I also work within international betting regulations and have relationships with the major content providers globally.

I specialise in maximising return and efficiency to move clients towards their long term goals. I love measurability, big data, unique ideas, and people and horses who try hard. I am currently working with several exciting startups in the media, data, betting and technology space.

I am a passionate advocate of the horse and the fan who are often underserved in the business of our industry.


My name is Eileen Harte and with my husband Keith we set up Keith Harte Bloodstock Ltd, a boarding and consigning business, 10 years ago when we moved here from Ireland. My role as Commercial Director involves the day to day running of the boarding and consigning business, alongside managing investment schemes for pin hooking syndicates and not to mention the demands of a young family! We are based at Woburn Stud, Bedfordshire, which was previously known as Bloomsbury Stud and managed by The Dowager Duchess of Bedford. We have grown the business quickly and Keith Harte Bloodstock was a top ten consignor at the 2013 and 2014 Tattersalls October Yearling Book 2 Sale.

My only background in racing was going to race meetings with my father who was a publican in Dublin. My early career included working with Kerr & Co. Bloodstock Agents, PA to the MD of Weatherby’s Ireland and Stud Secretary at Moyglare Stud. During all of my early career I continued to work for my father’s company which now owned many pubs and hotels in Dublin and I feel this is where I discovered my ‘entrepreneur’ instincts. My main role within the family business was events management which I continue to do with my current role. I also ran a ladies racing syndicate ‘The Racing Belles’ for two years and I enjoyed organising events outside of racing for the members.

I have been the Office Manager, Commercial Director and Financial Controller of our business without any formal training and developed it to a high standard.


Lynn is a highly experienced operator in the skills environment. She is Chair of Skills 4, the UK’s leading provider of the accredited Career Advancement and Progression Programme for women as well as other specialist programmes which deliver measureable business improvements for high performing companies by addressing gender and diversity balance within business.

Lynn, who was Operations Director for Semta, the sector skills council for science, engineering and advanced manufacturing is also one of Skills 4’s leading executive coaches.

She works with companies such as Rolls Royce, Atkins, BAE Systems, and Bombardier, delivering training and coaching to senior executives. Lynn is also a Board and Founding Member of the UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF), of Policy Connect, the leading network of Parliamentary groups, research commissions, forums and campaigns working to inform and improve UK public policy.

Lynn was the first ever woman Vice President of the Ship Building, Ship Repair Association. She is also the current Vice Chair of Northumberland College and is a former Director of Hexham Racecourse.


Gina is a television and radio presenter specialising in horses racing. She is part of the Channel 4 racing team and a regular face on Sky's dedicated racing channel At The Races (ATR).

After graduating from Cambridge University with a Masters degree in Spanish and French, she embarked on the two-year Darley Flying Start management training programme to further her knowledge of the global thoroughbred industry.

She began working for ATR in a dual marketing and presenting role in 2008 before dedicating herself to broadcasting as a freelancer in 2010. In addition to presenter roles with ATR, Channel 4 and Sky Racing Australia, Gina has also worked for Timeform Radio and is a regular guest on Talksport's Sports Breakfast Show. Gina has hosted numerous corporate events for companies such as Cancer Research UK, City AM and Your Golf Travel and is an ambassador for The Racegoers Club and a former committee member of the TBA's Next Generation Club.

She has a particular expertise in bloodstock through her family's Laundry Cottage Stud Farm and is the official presenter for Tattersalls, a role which involves presenting and producing online content for all of their major thoroughbred sales.

Although based in London Gina enjoys riding out in Newmarket when possible and has competed in several charity races although thus far without success!


Anita van Adelsbergen MA is a former equestrian sports commentator and international journalist from the Netherlands. Horses, dogs and languages have been the three key elements throughout her career and personal life. She grew up speaking Dutch, English and German and is also fluent in French and Italian. She graduated from Utrecht University with a Masters degree in English, Celtic Studies and Italian.

Anita runs her own company in translations and media relations with specialisations in equine, equestrian, canine and veterinary subjects. She is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists in the UK. A few years ago she embarked upon a second career working with dogs, horses and their owners. She is a fully licensed equine sports massage therapist and also studied towards a diploma in equine,- and canine behaviour.

She can provide advice to mentees wishing to continue their careers in international relations, languages or equine (and canine) welfare.


Susannah is Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs for Together for the Tote. Prior to this she spent four years as Director of External Affairs for Arena Racing Company, and before that was Head of Public Affairs at Betfair following a stint as a researcher in parliament. She a member of the Diversity in Racing Steering Group, a committee member for Women in Racing and a Trustee of the Northern Racing College. She is a keen marathon runner and has ridden in several point-to-points.


Mentor Programme case studies

"I am an Equine Science Lecturer with a passion for horse racing and rider performance that has been developed through various roles within the racing industry.

"I contacted WiR in July to enquire how I could get involved with mentoring programme as I was (and I still am) interested in developing my skills, interests and experiences of teaching and horse racing from the Mentors in education. After reading the biographies on the website it became apparent that taking part in the mentoring scheme was an opportunity to find out more about the education side of racing.

"WiR Chair Sally Rowley-Williams kindly introduced me to Judith Allen via email within the week. Judith has provided many opportunities to become involved in the BHEST racing to the nationwide Racing to Schools Program (so location was not an issue), which I have greatly enjoyed attending at a variety of racecourses on a number of days as well as meeting Carrie Ford, who has been equally excellent in this process.

"After meeting with Judy in November, I have felt fully supported and well advised as well as being fuelled to continue learning about this area.

"Thank to Women in Racing for this opportunity. I would recommend anyone that is considering such an opportunity to not hesitate in applying to the WiR Mentoring scheme."

-- Eleanor Boden

I have been involved in the racing industry for more than 15 years in various ways, including owner, breeder, regulator and administrator.

"However, currently I am an academic researcher with focus on horse racing safety and welfare.

"Recently I made the decision that I would like to return to a more active managerial role within the racing industry and sought out the advice of WiR Chair Sally Rowley-Williams. As an inspiring career-coach, Sally is working with me to make the career jump and has provided introductions to important figures within racing in the UK, critique of job applications, interview preparation, and advice on marketing myself. As I live in Sweden, this support has been predominantly by email and Skype, however this has not hindered fruitful mentorship.

"Thanks to Sally and WiR my experience has been incredibly positive and has left me confident and excited about my future career. I highly recommend the WiR Mentor Programme."

-- Peta Hitchens