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Article 30th August 2022 Market Rasen

Tuesday 30th August

Sue Lucas will become Chair of Market Rasen Racecourse from January 1st 2023, becoming the fifth generation of the family to be involved in the running of the venue.

Lucas’s background is in further education and she was previously Head Lecturer at North Lindsey College in Scunthorpe. Since leaving education and having a family, she has worked as secretary of the locally based charity Blood Cancer UK, organising and jointly running fundraising events.

She also supports her husband who has his own business, liaising with overseas customers from the USA, Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand.

Born and raised in Lincolnshire, Lucas has been on the Racecourse Committee since 2016 and has a strong family connection with Market Rasen, and is now the fifth generation of her family to be involved in the running of the Lincolnshire venue.

It was Thomas Nettleship in the 1870s who began the family connection with Market Rasen, followed by his son, James Henry Nettleship, who was in part responsible for the purchase of land at Willingham Road, where the racecourse stands now. 2023 will see the 100th anniversary of the racecourse in its current location.

However, it was James Henry’s son-in-law, Victor Lucas – Sue Lucas’s husband’s grandfather – who was most influential in shaping the course as it is known today.

Victor was responsible for the running of the course from 1945 until his death in 1971 and oversaw a number of changes to the venue’s facilities which remain in place to this day. These include ensuring the course itself could be seen from all enclosures, moving the parade ring to a position next to the track and accessible to all racegoers and the promotion of racing as a family day out with a children’s playground and picnic area.

Victor also masterminded the sale of Market Rasen to what is now known as The Jockey Club in 1967 and the Lucas family have remained involved at the racecourse ever since.

Sue Lucas said: “It is an honour and a pleasure to be taking on the role of Chair at Market Rasen from next year. I am looking forward to working with Nadia and the wider racecourse team to provide support for Lincolnshire’s only racecourse. This is my local community, I was born and raised in the area and I feel passionate about this wonderful asset that helps to put Market Rasen on the map.

“I am the fifth generation of the family to be involved here and so the racecourse holds a place very close to the heart of the whole family. It seems incredible to think that the 2023/24 season will mark 100 years of racing on the Willingham Road site and we are in fact only a few years away from celebrating 200 years of racing in the Market Rasen parish.”

Outgoing Chair, Tommy Cooper, added: “Sue has been a tremendous asset on the Racecourse Committee for the past six years and I can’t think of anyone better to take over the reins as Chair.

“With Market Rasen Racecourse celebrating its centenary on the current site next year it is fitting that its new Chair will be someone with such a close family association.

“I would like to thank the Committee members and racecourse team I have worked with in my tenure, who have worked so hard to ensure this great racecourse continues to thrive.”

Sandy Dudgeon, Senior Steward at The Jockey Club, said: “I would like to congratulate Sue Lucas on becoming the new Chair of Market Rasen Racecourse. With her combination of tremendous passion and commitment, as well as her family connection to Market Rasen, I am sure she will be a great success as the course prepares for some momentous milestones in the next few years.

“I would also like to thank Tommy Cooper for his wise counsel and guidance during his time as Chair. Market Rasen continues to be a hugely popular local venue and Tommy’s hard work and commitment have ensured the course can continue to go from strength to strength.”



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