Birch resigns from Racing NSW stewards’ panel

Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel is on the lookout for a new right hand man as Sydney’s autumn carnival heats up following the resignation of experienced deputy Wade Birch.

Birch started working with Racing NSW in June, 2019 as a senior stipendiary steward before moving into the deputy role after the resignation of Phillip Dingwall two months later.

He has regularly overseen metropolitan meetings in Sydney in Van Gestel’s absence since then and the departure will undoubtedly leave a substantial hole in the stewards’ ranks in Sydney.

The news comes in the same week of Sydney’s first Group 1 meeting of 2021 with the Chipping Norton Stakes and Surround Stakes both set to be run this weekend at Randwick.

Birch will continue to fulfil his role at the meeting before parting ways with Racing NSW after the Golden Slipper on March 20 to take up a new position.

He was announced as the new Director of Racing Operations for the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission (GWIC) on Monday morning.

The appointment ends an eight month search to find a replacement for Gail Thorsby who retired from her role as GWIC Chief Steward last year.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the time I’ve had working with Marc Van Gestel and great team of stewards at Racing NSW but have decided to take an opportunity with GWIC,” Birch said.

“The opportunity to effect change in a sport in a leadership role was appealing and I finish my EMBA (Executive Master of Business Administation) in a little over a month‘s time now so it it will be a great opportunity to use that as well.”

Racing NSW officially advertised the position vacant on Monday morning with applications set to close on Monday, March 8.

Originally published asLeading steward leaves Racing NSW post

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