The Jockey Club has today announced that they will be providing free meals at all of its racecourses for all racing staff from Saturday 30th June 2018, scheduled to coincide with the first day of Racing Welfare’s Racing Staff Week.
Jockey Club Racecourses, which accounts for 15 racecourses across the UK, estimate that the initiative will provide around 25,000 meals per year to racing staff. It will apply to all Jockey Club courses, which include some of British horseracing’s crown jewels in the likes of Cheltenham, Aintree and Epsom Downs, across all 348 of its racing fixtures each year. The meal provision will be available to both stable staff and box drivers and will be given in the form of a voucher, received on arrival at the course and will entitle each recipient to a free meal from the stable staff restaurant menu. In addition to this, all racing staff will be provided with free tea, coffee and bottled water, the latter of which was introduced previously and will continue going forward.
In an effort to ensure that additional food is priced consistently and affordably, the Jockey Club have also standardised pricing across their stable staff restaurants on all courses. Paul Fisher, Chief Executive of Jockey Club Racecourses, commented:
“The hardworking staff who look after our equine stars are absolutely essential to British Racing and we want to look after them to the best of our ability while they work at Jockey Club Racecourses. I’d like to thank them for the vital role they play in our sport and I hope that today’s announcement of 25,000 or so free meals is an indication of that. “Having consulted across the industry on this it’s clear horsemen wish us to provide these meals and I am pleased to do so from now on, as well as continuing to invest in prize money and facilities.”
Chief Executive of Racing Welfare, Dawn Goodfellow said: “Racing Welfare is delighted to see the essential contribution that racing staff make recognised in this way. We are equally pleased to see the legacy of what is now the third renewal of Racing Staff Week growing to include initiatives which impact on the lives of racing staff all-year-round. We are very grateful for The Jockey Club’s support of both Racing Welfare and Racing Staff Week.”
Racing Welfare is thrilled with the announcement and especially welcomes it on the cusp of Racing Staff Week, which is designed to throw light on the contribution of those working in racing and thoroughbred breeding.
This year’s Racing Staff Week, kindly sponsored by Betfair, runs from 30th June – 7th July and will see the whole industry come together in celebration of the staff who work to make racing happen, with events planned up and down the country, including Racehorse Owners Association-sponsored barbeques and Racing Welfare organised social events for racing staff. Social media platforms will be packed with rewards and competitions for staff throughout the week, and will give home to activity aiming to provide the racegoing public with an insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes. Furthemore, Friday 6th July will see the running of two races exclusively for stable staff; the Betfair Clock Tower Cup at Doncaster and, new for this year, the Betfair Racing Staff Week Cup at Newton Abbot.
Racing Welfare is the only charity to provide services to all those working in racing and into retirement and looks forward to what it is set to be another fantastic week of celebrations, the reach and impact of which it is hoped will continue to be felt long after the close of the events on Saturday 7th July.
Find out more about Racing Staff Week at www.racingstaffweek.co.uk.