JCR partners with JETS to offer hosting experience to racegoers

17th March 2014

John Reid wins the 1992 Epsom Derby on Dr Devious

John Reid wins the 1992 Epsom Derby on Dr Devious

Jockey Club Racecourses (JCR), the UK's largest racecourse group1, today launched a new initiative in partnership with The Jockeys Employment & Training Scheme (JETS) that will see former and current jockeys become 'Jockey Club Hosts' available to customers at all 15 of its racecourses in a move designed to add to the thrill and enjoyment of a day at the races.

JETS, the organisation set up to help former jockeys and support those nearing the end of their careers with the transition into new forms of employment, has recruited more than 20 jockeys on behalf of JCR to offer an enhanced raceday experience to its customers through the first-hand insights, knowledge and expertise of the likes of Brendan Powell, Michael Hills and John Reid. The initiative also offers employment opportunities to the hosts and
will generate additional revenues for The Jockey Club to reinvest back into British racing.

Some of the most prestigious races in the sport have been won by the suite of Jockey Club Hosts, many of which are staged at JCR tracks, including The Investec Derby at Epsom Downs, the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree, the QIPCO 1000 and 2000 Guineas at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile and the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Available as an upgrade to hospitality and group booking customers in the first instance, Jockey Club Hosts will help guests of all levels of racing knowledge to get the most out of their racedays. This can include explaining what happens on a raceday and how to read the racecard for newcomers through to sharing unique insights into the life of a jockey and interesting stories from within British racing for all, as well as highlighting noteworthy developments and pointing out trainers, jockeys and owners during racing. Jockey Club Hosts can also help to organise behind-the-scenes extras such as visits to the start and tours of the Pre-Parade Ring, Paddock and Winners’ Enclosure.

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

“We believe Jockey Club Hosts is a great way for our customers to get even more out of their day at the races and learn new things about our sport. At the same time it's great to be giving something back to hardworking jockeys and in the process we hope to generate funds that we will reinvest into the sport, which is our guarantee as The Jockey Club.”

Lisa Delany, JETS Manager, said:

“JETS has worked closely with the JCR team on this project from the start, leading the whole recruitment process by identifying enthusiastic individuals who will be able to communicate their own personal insight, enthusiasm and knowledge to communicate all that is needed to enjoy a great day at the races.”

John Reid, winner of The Derby in 1992 on board Dr Devious, said:

"I'm delighted to be involved in Jockey Club Hosts. It's great to see The Jockey Club is contributing even more to British racing as an industry by employing retired and current jockeys. I'm certain we can give racegoers a really special experience. I'm ready with my anecdotes and to share my amazing experience of winning The Derby."

By turnover (2012: £142.1m), courses (15), attendances (2012: 1.8m), total prize money (2012: £35.3m), contribution to prize money (2012: £16.5m) and quality racing (Group and Graded races).