Khalid Almudhaf co-oped to ROA Board
Article appeared in the Racing Post on Sunday, 15 August
Overseas owners will be represented directly for the first time on the Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) board with the appointment of Khalid Almudhaf, who has pledged to get disparate groups talking and collaborating for the future of ownership in Britain.
Almudhaf, 52, is vice-president of the Kuwait-based MTC Group, which oversees the manufacture and distribution of a range of products across the globe.
However, Almudhaf, an owner for 26 years in Britain, expects to use skills learned from his father, a former Kuwait ambassador to the United Nations, in his new role at the ROA.
“I’d like to think I bring a bit of diplomacy as my father was the Kuwait ambassador to the United Nations,” New York-born Almudhaf said. “It is important to consider how we all think about racing and it’s good for different people to get together on this.
“Racing is a very humbling sport and no one will ever know everything about it; it doesn’t work like that. So, because one person thinks this and someone else thinks differently, it doesn’t mean one is right or wrong; it’s about working together.”
Charlie Parker: the ROA chairman described Khalid Almudhaf as “a very good addition to the board”
A Racing Post investigation in May highlighted the dependence of British racing on wealthy overseas benefactors, particularly on the Flat where only one domestic owner featured in the top 14 owners of last season’s championship, and Almudhaf believes owners and would-be owners abroad can be better represented by the likes of the ROA.
He said: “First and foremost, I love racing. I own horses with my cousin and we enjoy our racing very much. I read the news and it was interesting to me to follow what was going on, but there was no representation for our part of the world in these discussions in Britain.
“But why it might seem to people that I’m the foreign racehorse owner representative, that’s wrong. I want to represent all owners and that’s what I’m there for.
"There's a lot to be done with racing. It can be marketed better to people in this part of the world, understand the concerns and help the people who want to get involved. That’s what I want to be able to do.”
Almudhaf, who has horses with John and Thady Gosden, Mick Channon, Roger Charlton and Roger Varian and has enjoyed success with the likes of Lahaleeb and Kessaar, expects to spend more time in Britain after his appointment is confirmed at the ROA annual general meeting on September 1, and he's keen to meet and hear from owners.
Charlie Liverton: the ROA chief executive said Khalid Almudhaf's appointment was "a really exciting moment for the ROA"
“There is a lot of dialogue to be had on racing’s future, but underneath it all it’s a wonderful and amazing sport,” he said.
“One of the things I said to myself when taking this role is that I would have to spend more time in the UK. The UK is already like a second home to us and I want to be able to come to ROA functions and to meet owners and understand more what they want from ownership in Britain.”
ROA chairman Charlie Parker described Almudhaf as “a very good addition to the board”, while chief executive Charlie Liverton said his appointment was part of the organisation’s aim to bring in more people with ”specific skill sets or experiences” after a review of its corporate governance.
“It’s a really exciting moment for the ROA and it will give us a better understanding of what we are doing right but, more importantly, what we are doing wrong on an international front,” Liverton said.
“We can see and be able to cater for what the international owner of the future will want from British racing.”