Garry Fortune appointed Head of Jockey Club Venues

6th October 2014

The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British racing, today announced the appointment of Garry Fortune as its first Head of Jockey Club Venues – its busy conferences and events (C&E) arm that operates across the Group’s 15 racecourses nationwide.

In 2013, The Jockey Club generated £23.7 million in turnover from the non-racing use of its venues, including conferences, launches, exhibitions, meetings and weddings. This accounted for 15 percent of all revenues across Jockey Club Racecourses and was up by 6.8 percent from £22.2 million in 2012.
The Jockey Club has created this new Jockey Club Venues role to enhance and coordinate its approach to C&E nationwide, through liaison with the Regional Heads of Sales, Marketing and Operations and a focus on introducing a clear ‘Jockey Club’ quality and experience for customers within a multi-billion GBP events market [1].
Garry Fortune will report to The Jockey Club’s Group Sales & Marketing Director, Tom Manners. He will be supported by Susie Bradshaw whose fixed term contract as Group C&E Manager is confirmed as a permanent role with immediate effect. This reflects both the importance of Jockey Club Venues to our growth plans, and the excellent job Susie has done in the last 12 months.
Garry Fortune is currently General Manager at Haydock Park Racecourse in The Jockey Club’s North West region. On account of his forthcoming move – with timings to be confirmed in due course – the General Manager role for Haydock Park will be advertised internally and externally shortly.
The Jockey Club has invested more than £175 million in its venues over the last decade, including state-of-the-art facilities designed for hosting non-racing events, large and small.
Garry Fortune, incoming Head of Jockey Club Venues, said:
“Jockey Club Venues generates important revenues that The Jockey Club puts back into helping to fund British racing. This is a fantastic Group-wide opportunity for me in an area that fits really well with my past experience.”
Tom Manners, Group Sales & Marketing Director of The Jockey Club, said:
“I am delighted for Garry and Susie. These are really important roles within our Group, with the challenge to drive our efforts to develop and deliver a properly joined up, enhanced, consistent conferences and events operation and customer experience across our venues nationwide.
“Garry’s experience – with us and previously – makes him very well qualified to lead Jockey Club Venues and I look forward to working with him in this new capacity.”
John Baker, North West Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, responsible for the running of Haydock Park, Aintree and Carlisle, said:
"We'll be sad to see Garry move on from his Haydock Park role. At the same time I’m really pleased for him and also that he’ll remain working out of the North West. Garry has been an important part of some great success at Haydock Park, such as this year we had nearly 20,000 people attend Betfred Rose of Lancaster Stakes Day and the crowd for the three-day Betfred Sprint Cup meeting was up by 10 percent. Last year 19,000 came to our Madness music night and the Betfair Chase has been going from strength-to-strength as such a quality contest now.”