The Professional Jockeys Association has today announced that Paul Struthers has been appointed as its new Chief Executive, returning to a role he departed almost two years ago.
Since leaving the PJA, Struthers has established his own sports consultancy, Moya Sport, and for the past few months has been providing consultancy services and advice to the PJA. He will commence his new role in the New Year, until which time he will continue to provide consultancy advice and support to the PJA and finalise his work with other clients.
Nick Attenborough, PJA Chair, said, “As expected, the role attracted a high calibre of candidates but following a thorough and extensive selection process, Paul was the overwhelming choice. He obviously brings unrivalled experience to the role but even without his previous time at the PJA he would have been the strongest candidate given his regulatory knowledge, leadership experience and expertise in membership and stakeholder comms, crisis management and PR.
“We look forward to welcoming Paul back in the New Year and I am delighted to be working with him, Dale, and the team to create an even stronger PJA. I’d also like to thank Dale Gibson and the executive team for their very considerable support over the past year during a challenging time for the PJA.’’
Dale Gibson, who did not apply for the CEO job, will revert to his previous role as Racing Director having twice served as Interim CEO over the last two years.
Struthers had previously been the PJA’s Chief Executive from February 2012 until his resignation in December 2021. During his tenure, he was an influential and respected advocate for jockeys and, under his leadership, the PJA significantly enhanced membership benefits, including the introduction of a comprehensive mental wellbeing support service, whilst significantly reducing the costs of insurance. The PJA also secured numerous, important regulatory changes, which included a new, more independent Judicial Panel, the establishment of a jockey booking fee, doubling the PJA’s appeal success rate and the introduction and expansion of flexible suspensions.
Lizzie Kelly, a former member and now a non-executive director of the PJA, played an active role in the recruitment process and said, “Paul is incredibly passionate about representing our members and understands the daily challenges faced by jockeys. We look forward to finding our equilibrium under Nick and Paul’s leadership.’’
Leading international rider Ryan Moore said, “I wasn’t involved in the recruitment process but was delighted to hear the news that Paul is coming back, I was very disappointed when he left, and I know the weighing room will be as pleased as me that he’s back where he belongs.”
Brian Hughes, Champion Jump Jockey, said, “This is the best news we’ve had in some time. It’ll be great to have Paul back.”
Paul Struthers said, “Obviously my previous time at the PJA didn’t end how I wanted it to, but as difficult as it was, leaving when I did was undoubtedly the right thing to do at the time, both for myself and for the PJA.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of setting up my own consultancy and trying to make Moya Sport a success, but the chance to rejoin the PJA was too good an opportunity to pass up. I am incredibly grateful and honoured to be entrusted with this role for a second time.
“With my prior experience, time to reflect on things I would have done differently and a fresh perspective that my break from the role has allowed, I am excited to be returning to lead the talented and passionate PJA team in representing and supporting the hard working, dedicated men and women of the weighing room.”
Struthers will take up his position on 2nd January 2024.