David Mackinnon appointed to South West regional operations role

4th October 2012

David Mackinnon (left) with leading owner Andy Stewart

David Mackinnon (left) with leading owner Andy Stewart

Jockey Club Racecourses (JCR), the UK's largest racecourse group[1], today announced the appointment of David Mackinnon as Regional Head of Operations for its South West region, incorporating Cheltenham, Exeter, Warwick and Wincanton racecourses. He currently runs the Group's Sandown Park Racecourse.

In his new role, based out of Cheltenham Racecourse from later this month, David Mackinnon will be responsible for delivering operational high standards across the four racecourses. He will report to Ian Renton, who joined JCR this week as South West Regional Director, as part of a new regional management structure being introduced by The Jockey Club’s racecourse arm.

Sandown Park will be run by Rupert Trevelyan as part of his new role as Regional Director of JCR’s London region, containing Epsom Downs, Kempton Park and the Esher track.

Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said:

"We're very pleased to announce this new role for David Mackinnon. He is a highly valued member of the Jockey Club Racecourses team and possesses the right blend of skills required for such an expanded and senior position across four racecourses, supporting Ian Renton.

“His operational experience running racecourses will be invaluable to the region and this move also recognises the unique requirements of Cheltenham as one of the crown jewels in our portfolio. One of David's strengths is in delivering a first-class customer experience, for which Sandown Park has received much praise. I look forward to him promoting best practice in his new role."

David Mackinnon said:

“I’m delighted to be asked to take on this new regional role, particularly given the importance of JCR’s South West racecourses to British racing. It’s a hugely exciting prospect to work again with Ian Renton and the teams and chairmen at the four racecourses in the region.

“I’d like to thank John Jarvis and the Sandown Park board for their support and guidance, and the racecourse team for their enthusiasm and drive. We achieved a great deal working together, including staging high quality racing and events, the successful rebranding of the bet365 Ultimate Celebration Meeting, securing several long-term racing and non-racing commercial partners and in particular delivering a customer experience they can be proud of.

“The multi-site nature of my new role appeals the most. Working with Ian Renton, one of my aims is to bring small and large course expertise and resources together to create an operational centre of excellence that, in time, delivers the best possible customer experience, not just in racing, but within sport and leisure. The inspiration of the Olympic experience will be part of this.

“The Jockey Club has stated the next major development project for the Group will be at Cheltenham Racecourse, which is currently at an advanced stage of feasibility study. When the time comes, that will be an exciting and important project to be involved with.

“On a personal level it was Cheltenham’s junior membership scheme that hooked me into the sport and ultimately saw me develop a career in horseracing. I look forward to playing my part in Cheltenham’s future and the success of all courses in JCR’s South West region.”

Ian Renton, South West Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said:

“I'm delighted that David will be joining the regional team in the South West and thoroughly look forward to working with him again. His operational expertise will be invaluable in our efforts to continue to raise the bar at Cheltenham and across JCR's South West region to ensure that the customer experience is always in keeping with the quality of racing staged.

"David's appointment will add considerable strength to the South West regional management team and we all look forward to him starting in his new role.”

John Jarvis CVO CBE, Chairman of Sandown Park Racecourse, said:

“I would like to thank David for all his efforts at Sandown Park. Since his arrival in 2007, the service and experience we offer our customers has improved immeasurably. Today customer feedback about Sandown Park is fantastic and that is testament to David and the team he has run these last five years.

“This is the right time for the Group to benefit from David’s in advance of progressing exciting future plans at Cheltenham and other courses in Jockey Club Racecourses’ south west region. I wish him all the very best and I am sure he will do a great job.”

[1] By turnover, attendances, quality racing (Group and Graded), contribution to prize money and total prize money