Stable Staff Week runs from Monday 27th June – Saturday 2nd July, it celebrates the role of the unsung heroes of racing – the stable staff and all the other behind the scenes staff that play a vital role in the production of British Horseracing.
Racecourses with meetings during the week have proposed a range of initiatives to demonstrate their support of Stable Staff Week and give thanks to stable staff, whose role in caring for the 14,000 racehorses in training, is vital to the success of horseracing as a sport.
Jockey Club Racecourses are providing all grooms, travelling head lads and box drivers with a voucher for a free meal in their canteens throughout the week. This includes meetings at Kempton, Epsom Downs, Haydock Park, Sandown Park, Carlisle, Nottingham and Market Rasen.
All Arena Racing Company Racecourses are holding a free prize draw in the stable staff canteen to win a hamper at each track; this includes Windsor, Wolverhampton, Brighton, Chepstow, Bath, Worcester, Yarmouth and Doncaster. Furthermore, at Doncaster, the venue for the pinnacle of the week, the Betfair Clock Tower Cup stable staff charity race, every winning groom will receive a goody bag.
In Scotland, Perth Racecourse have timed the official opening of their Lodge Facility for stable staff to coincide with the week. The Lodge will provide Perth’s travelling stable staff with quality accommodation and a canteen service in close proximity to the new stable yard on racedays in a magnificent timber-frame construction. Furthermore, Musselburgh Racecourse will be providing free food in the stable staff canteen, increased Best Turned Out prize money and Musselburgh bi-centenary glasses to winning grooms during their meeting on 27th June.
Pontefract Racecourse have incorporated a Racing Welfare ‘Lifetime in Racing’ award race into their card on Monday 27th. The race will recognise the incredible career of Rose Beattie who has worked in racing since 1969 and still continues part-time to this day.
In the South of the country, Newton Abbot racecourse will be doubling their Best Turned Out prizes to £100 for each winning groom as well as giving all staff who lead up a winner a commemorative jacket. Local Racing Welfare Welfare Officers will be attending on the day to meet staff. In Epsom, Racing Welfare staff will be in the stable staff canteen giving people the opportunity to meet new Epsom Welfare Officer Kathryn Ferguson. They will also be handing out bottles of water and cereal bars to staff at the trackside leading up at this evening music meeting.
Stratford Racecourse will be welcoming the EPDS Racing and Racing Welfare Best Turned Out series to their Tuesday 28th June Evening Meeting. The winning groom will take home a prize gilet, £50 and receive points towards the £1,000 end-of-year prize.
Caroline Davies, RCA Racecourse Services Director, said: “The RCA is delighted that so many racecourses have embraced Racing Welfare Stable Staff Week and are supporting it with some fantastic initiatives.
Without stable staff our sport simply wouldn’t exist and the whole week gives racecourses the ideal opportunity to promote the work of stable staff to their customers. This will offer racegoers a real insight into their work and daily routines, not only raising awareness but also hopefully inspiring the next generation of stable staff.”
Susannah Gill, Arena Racing Company Director of External Affairs said: “We are delighted to be supporting Stable Staff Week and really looking forward to hosting the the Betfair Clock Tower Cup which gives stable staff a unique chance to ride at Doncaster. We hope the whole day will help generate awareness of the amazing work stable staff do every day of the year while also raising funds for Racing Welfare.”
Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “Stable staff are vital to horseracing in Britain. This army of dedicated staff provides tremendous care for our racehorses and it’s great that Racing Welfare is drawing attention to that this week. Jockey Club Racecourses is very happy to recognise the contribution stable staff make to our sport.”
Dawn Goodfellow, Racing Welfare Chief Executive, said: “We are incredibly grateful to all of the racecourses, countrywide, who have offered their support to this exciting initiative. Stable Staff Week will not only help to give racegoers greater knowledge of the vital role of stable staff; it will also demonstrate to the staff who go racing just how much racecourses appreciate and acknowledge their effort”.