John Deere has signed a five-year preferred supplier partnership agreement with Arena Leisure plc, the biggest racecourse operator in the UK. The agreement covers the supply and after-sales support of John Deere equipment for use by grounds staff on the racecourses, as well as two 18 hole golf courses and two hotel complexes.
Arena Leisure hosts 25 per cent of all British racing fixtures at seven racecourses across the country - Doncaster (home of the St Leger, the world's oldest classic horse race), Folkestone, Lingfield Park, Royal Windsor, Southwell, Wolverhampton (which is the busiest racecourse in the UK) and Worcester. Three of the UK's four all-weather tracks are at Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton, which is also floodlit.
The John Deere machines will work on a combined total of 514ha (1271ac) across all the sites, including the two golf courses at Lingfield Park and Southwell, the Holiday Inn hotel at Wolverhampton, and a new Marriott hotel at Lingfield Park, which is due to open in spring 2010.
"With such a busy calendar, including 80 days of racing at Southwell and from 90 to 100 days at Wolverhampton, the grounds staff work hard to present all the courses at their best to a worldwide audience," says Geoff Adcock, Arena Leisure's group procurement & special projects manager. "That's why we need reliable equipment and support.
"After going through a tender process, John Deere came up with the best package. We already have a decent stock of their machines around the sites, with good local dealer parts and service back-up. The key for us is that John Deere can supply everything we need, from walk-behind and ride-on mowers up to 200hp tractors for the race tracks, golf courses and hotel complexes.
"With different requirements at each site, the agreement allows us to replace old machines and introduce new technology as and when required over the next five years."