Racecourses come together

Editorialin Equestrian

Racecourses are today gathering for the second day of the inaugural RCA Racing and Turf Management Seminar at St George's Park in Staffordshire.

The event, sponsored by Duralock, sees delegates from racecourses across Britain come together to discuss and share recent innovations in racing and turf management at the home of the FA's new National Football Centre.

Some of the major topics of the moment, such as turf management, horse welfare and race planning will be discussed by expert panels, featuring trainers Tom Dascombe and Dan Skelton, as well as representatives of the British Horseracing Authority, Betfair, At the Races, Racing UK, The Racegeors Club and the hosts, St George's Park.

Thursday afternoon's debate chaired by RCA Racecourse Services Director Caroline Davies and BHA Head of Racecourse, Fraser Garrity, touched on a number of subjects including the GoingStick, measuring of jump courses, the use of twitter and record keeping.

Delegates will also enjoy a tour of the facilities at 330 acre St George's Park, which opened in 2012 and is the training base for the 24 England football teams and all coaching and development work by the Football Association.

Caroline Davies commented, 'We're delighted to bring racecourses together at this fantastic venue to discuss and debate some of the most pressing issues in racing and turf management.

'It was good to have Mike Maher on our panel yesterday, where we discussed the future of the GoingStick, we were in agreement that the development of an education programme in the use and interpretation of the GoingStick will be key'

'Today will be no different, we look forward to an engaging discussion about horse welfare, with the thoughts of trainers, racegoers, the media and the Horse Comes First Campaign involved as well as some expert guidance through the processes of race planning'

Alan Ferguson, Head Groundsman at St George's Park commented, 'It was great to speak with other professionals who manage turf. The feedback from the discussion session was really beneficial, and I learnt a good deal from just this short session. We all have the same educational issues, so I'm always happy to welcome fellow turf management professionals to St George's Park'

For more information on the Seminar or regarding the Racecourse Association, please contact Holly Cook or Sam Cone at the RCA on 01344626067 or visit www.britishracecourses.org
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