Klein has been Chief Executive at Otago Racing Club in Dunedin, New Zealand, since August 2012, which annually stages around 15 racedays between the venues of Wingatui and Cromwell on South Island, including two of New Zealand’s largest. Since August 2009, he has held the additional responsibility of being New Zealand’s Jump Racing Manager. This involved first successfully overseeing the complete restructure of Jump Racing in the country and subsequently advising New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing on all matters related to the code.
Previously, Klein was Chief Executive of Gallop South Incorporated between 2006 and 2011, managing the progress and development of 14 Thoroughbred racing ‘clubs’ in the Otago and Southland regions, which stage around 40 racedays a year at 11 venues. Prior to that he was Club Secretary at Otago Racing Club from 2003 to 2006 and between 1998 and 2003 worked for the South Australian Jockey Club, ultimately as Raceday Operations Manager where he was responsible for the successful delivery of around 60 racedays a year at Morphettville, Cheltenham Park and Victoria Park. He was also responsible for media communications during his time at SAJC.
In his new role within The Jockey Club, Klein will report to Ian Renton, Regional Director for Jockey Club Racecourses’ South West region that incorporates Cheltenham, Exeter, Warwick and Wincanton. Klein, a British citizen, was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick was the first racecourse he attended as a child.
He succeeds Huw Williams at Warwick, who has moved to sister Jockey Club course, Wincanton, after 10 years at the helm of the Midlands track.
Warwick Racecourse stages 17 Jumps fixtures a year and, with continued investment as part of Jockey Club Racecourses, aims to become one of the leading small Jumps courses in the UK over the next few years. Recent highlights over Jumps at Warwick include the Betfred Classic Chase, contended by the likes of Auroras Encore and West End Rocker; the Kingmaker Novices' Chase, won by Long Run and Finian's Rainbow; and the Leamington Novices' Hurdle (Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle), won by The New One and Carruthers. Three of the last six winners of the Crabbie's Grand National – Auroras Encore, Ballabriggs and Don't Push It – raced at Warwick in the build up to their Aintree triumphs. It also operates as an all-year-round leisure venue, with a golf course, caravan park and hosts events such as conferences, parties, weddings, meetings and speed awareness courses.
Andre Klein said:
“I can’t wait to join The Jockey Club team at Warwick. I was born in Warwickshire and the course has always been close to my heart as the first I visited as a child. I’ve been passionate about racing my whole life and, although I’ve been working in the sport for the last 16 years on the other side of the world, I always hoped that the right opportunity would arise to transfer that experience back home. Jump racing is what I enjoy the most and is only a small part of the racing industry in New Zealand. I’m looking forward to that exclusive focus as we grow Warwick’s profile as one of the leading small Jumps courses in Britain in the years ahead.”
Ian Renton, Regional Director of Jockey Club Racecourses’ South West Region, said:
“I am really thrilled to be welcoming Andre to the team as part of the South West region of Jockey Club Racecourses. His wealth of experience in racing in New Zealand speaks for itself and I know he is really excited to be returning to Warwick, where he first went racing as a child. Huw Williams, who has moved to Wincanton, has done a great job over the past 10 years and I am very much looking forward to working with Andre to continue to build Warwick as one of the leading small Jumps courses in the country.”
Andrew Clark, Chairman of Warwick Racecourse, said:
“This is a really exciting time for Warwick and I look forward to welcoming Andre to our team in November. My thanks go to Huw Williams for all his hard work over the past ten years and I am delighted that he is to remain as part of The Jockey Club in his role at Wincanton. Andre is a Warwickshire man, having grown up in the area before emigrating to New Zealand so I am sure that he will bring passion and drive to the racecourse to cement its place, not only in the local community but also the wider racing industry. I shall look forward to working with him.”