The Professional Jockeys Association has announced the appointment of multiple Grade 1 winning jockey
David Bass as its new Jump President, who takes over from Richard Johnson following his retirement from
the saddle earlier this year.
David, 33, was first licensed as an amateur in 2006, working initially for Richard Phillips. He turned
Conditional whilst working for John Manners before moving to join Nicky Henderson at Seven Barrows,
during which time he rode out his claim. David has had well over 3000 career rides and is approaching 500
career winners, including three at Grade 1 level and three Cheltenham Festival winners.
At the same time, the PJA has confirmed the completion of a restructure of its Board. The revised Board
structure will consist of 12 members, who will be supported by a newly created Jockeys Advisory Group,
made up of 6 jockeys from each code, with additional input from retired jockeys and current Jockey
Coaches, Andrew Thornton and Ted Durcan.
As part of the restructure, the PJA has appointed two new Non-Executive Directors. The first, Simon Cox,
is a racehorse owner and breeder with three horses in training with Ian Williams. He is currently President
and Chief Executive of Molson Coors EMEA. The second is former Manchester United and England
footballer, now broadcaster, Paul Parker, who has recently become involved in the sport as an ambassador
for Cross Channel Racing.
Jon Holmes, Chairman of the PJA, said:
“Being in this role for almost a year has only served to increase my admiration and respect for jockeys. I
have been impressed with all the PJA does for them and how much it has already achieved. The new Board
structure will further strengthen the PJA and the establishment of the Jockeys Advisory Group, combined
with our communications with the wider membership, will ensure our members continue to play a central
role in the direction of their association, which is vital.
“Our new appointments will be great assets to the PJA. I was impressed with David Bass’ thoughtfulness,
professionalism and communication skills and he will be a fine ambassador for our jumps members. Simon
Cox has a proven track record in the business world and experience of the sport as an owner breeder and
Paul Parker brings his experience of playing another professional sport at the top level. “
David Bass, PJA Jumps President, said:
“It was humbling and flattering when I heard my name had been put forward by some colleagues as a
potential successor to Dickie. I discussed the role at some length with Jon Holmes and Paul Struthers, and
sought the views and advice from others, and decided to go for it.
“It is an honour and privilege to be the PJA’s Jump President and not a responsibility I take lightly. There
are many challenges and opportunities, both for the sport and for my colleagues, and I’m really looking
forward to working with Jon and the PJA team.”
Paul Parker said:
“I was delighted to be approached by Jon Holmes to see if I’d be interested in joining the PJA Board. Through
my work with Cross Channel Racing I’ve really started to develop a keen interest in the sport but still have
lots to learn about racing. It’s a very different profession to being a footballer but many of the challenges
are similar and I hope I can use my experiences as a professional athlete to help the PJA and its members
as much as I can.”
Simon Cox said:
"I am first and foremost a passionate racing fan and over the last decade have deepened my involvement
in the sport through owning and breeding jump racehorses. I'm excited to join the board of the PJA and am
really looking forward to working with the board and the executive to ensure that our jockeys are given the
support and recognition they so fully deserve."
There are two unfilled vacancies on the PJA Board and the PJA has committed to these new appointments
being female. There are four vacancies on the Jockeys Advisory Group, two from each code, one of which
must be a female Flat Jockey.