Top showjumping owner Lord Harris is retiring as chairman of Carpetright after 56 years at the helm.
He will hand over to another businessman with links to the equestrian industry in a former managing director of Coral, Wilf Walsh, who is to become chief executive in July. Lord Harris, 71, will officially retire in September.
The Carpetright founder, joint owner of Scott Brash’s London 2012 ride Hello Sanctos, has said he intends to spend “more time going showjumping”.
He also part owns the top showjumping horse in the world — Ursula XII.
He and his wife, Lady Harris, are tremendous supporters of the sport, having also owned Hello Sailor, Unique IX and Oz De Breve as well as dressage horses, racehorses and eventers. Carpetright sponsored the Hickstead Derby in 2011 and 2012.
The retail business has been under a dark cloud of late, having issued 3 profit warnings since October and with the departure of several key figures.
Lord Harris will be available to Mr Walsh in an advisory role “as much as he wants me”, and the Harris family will retain nearly 20% of the business.