Rose Paterson, the wife of Defra secretary Owen Paterson, is to take over as Aintree racecourse chairman following the Grand National next year.
Rose has been a non-executive director of Aintree’s racecourse committee since 2005. She has been involved with horses and horseracing all her life and completed the 2011 Mongol Derby with her husband — raising ￡120,000 for charity.
She will take over the reins from Lord Daresbury who will stand down after 25 years.
“It is a privilege to succeed Peter Daresbury as chairman of Aintree after the next Crabbie’s Grand National,” Rose said.
“My priorities will be to work with Aintree’s management team to ensure the Grand National, remains the most exciting race in the world; to continue to use the latest science and experience to bring home both jockeys and horses safely; and to continue to improve the raceday experience for all our racegoers.”
In the in the past year Lord Daresbury has agreed to take on 2 important roles within The Jockey Club, joining its board of stewards and becoming chairman of Haydock Park racecourse.
“My association and love for Aintree is lifelong; as an amateur rider in the Grand National and the Fox Hunters’ then as a racehorse owner and father of jockey sons who revel in the challenges of Aintree,” said the outgoing chairman.
“It can easily be forgotten that there were dark days all those years ago when the very existence of Aintree was threatened.
“Decisive action by a wide range of people, not least The Jockey Club, ensured that the National was saved and restored to its rightful place as the greatest steeplechase in the world.
“There is nothing quite like it and it is firmly established as a highlight in the nation’s sporting calendar.”