A new chairman has been appointed at Huntingdon Racecourse.

Julian Taylor has taken on the role after succeeding Paul Taiano, who stepped down at the end of 2018 following a nine-year stint.

Taylor, recently retired after a near 40-year career in insurance, has been a member of the committee at Huntingdon for 12 months.

He is a well-known figure in the racing world having been a successful owner with trainers such as Venetia Williams, Harry Fry and Lucy Wadham in England.

Taylor's father and grandfather have both ridden over fences and he also took part in point-to-point and hunter chases himself for 13 years.

Taylor, who lives locally, said: "I am delighted to have been appointed by The Jockey Club to become Chairman of Huntingdon Racecourse.

"I pay tribute to the enormous contribution made by my predecessor Paul Taiano over nine years as Chairman and 24 years on the Committee of the racecourse.

"I am very much looking forward to supporting the excellent executive team that we have at Huntingdon, led by our general manager Liam Johnson.

"All the members of the team play their part in making the racecourse a positive and friendly place for everyone, including racehorse owners, trainers, jockeys, stable staff, as well as annual members and all our visitors.

"The racecourse is in a good place at the moment and that was reflected in the award by the Racegoers Club last year of the title of 'best small racecourse in the Midlands'.

"Huntingdon Racecourse enjoys the considerable benefits of being part of The Jockey Club which has made significant investments over the years.

"The venue is also very much a key player in the local community and makes a valuable contribution to the economy as part of the business community."

There have been two other changes to the committee at Huntingdon Racecourse.

Former Olympic selector Jane Wallace and business expert Philip Would have joined with Joey Newton departing.

Stars of the future will be in the spotlight on the track this Friday.

The Weatherbys Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle is the highlight of the first Huntingdon Racecourse fixture of 2019.

The two-mile, £25,000 contest goes off at 2.30pm as part of a six-race card which gets underway at 1pm. The finale is at 3.30pm.

Tickets are available for £10 in advance which rises to £15 on the day. they can be bought online at http://huntingdon.thejockeyclub.co.uk or by calling 0844 5793007.

Accompanied Under 18s receive free admission as always.