Help Wanted: To Oversee Britain's National Stud

A successful senior business person, with an extensive record in running high-profile companies and a strong interest in horses and breeding, is being sought to be the new chairman of Britain's National Stud which occupies 500 acres in Newmarket, England.

The successful candidate for the part-time post will succeed Peter Player in July. The future direction of the stud is unclear. At present a Thoroughbred farm standing stallions and boarding mares, it also holds courses for students and allows some access to the public.

The National Stud's future direction will be decided over the next couple of years. The Levy Board, the government-appointed body currently having overall responsibility for the stud, is due to be abolished in 2004 or 2005.

This has led to various suggestions and studies, some of which are still going on, about what should happen to the stud.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport had been suggesting combining it with the Equine Fertility Unit, which is linked to the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association. but this is likely not to happen now after a lobbying effort was organized against it.

But the stud is likely to come under pressure to increase access for the public as well as to open itself up to the breeding of non- Thoroughbred horses.