|Type||Private (incorporated by Royal Charter)|
|Industry||Horse racing, Leisure|
|Sandy Dudgeon (Senior Steward), Nevin Truesdale (CEO)|
|Revenue||£216.5 million (2019)|
Number of employees
|circa 600 FTE|
|Divisions||Jockey Club Racecourses, Jockey Club Estates, The National Stud, Racing Welfare, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live, Jockey Club Services|
The Jockey Club is the largest commercial horse racing organisation in the United Kingdom. It owns 15 of Britain's famous racecourses, including Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and both the Rowley Mile and July Course in Newmarket, amongst other horse racing assets such as the National Stud, and the property and land management company, Jockey Club Estates. The registered charity Racing Welfare is also a company limited by guarantee with the Jockey Club being the sole member. As it is governed by Royal Charter, all profits it makes are reinvested back into the sport.
Formerly the regulator for the sport, the Jockey Club's responsibilities were transferred to the Horseracing Regulatory Authority (now the British Horseracing Authority) in 2006.
The Jockey Club has long been thought to have been founded in 1750 – a year recognised by the club itself in its own records. Some claim it was created earlier, in the 1720s,while others suggest it may have existed in the first decade of the century.
It was founded as one of the most exclusive high society social clubs in the United Kingdom, sharing some of the functions of a gentleman's club such as high-level socialising. It was called 'The Jockey Club' in reference to the late medieval word for 'horsemen', pronounced 'yachey', and spelt 'Eachaidhe' in Gaelic.The club's first meetings were held at the "Star and Garter" tavern in Pall Mall, London, before later moving to Newmarket; a town known in the United Kingdom as "The Home of Racing". It was historically the dominant organisation in British horseracing, and it remained responsible for its day-to-day regulation until April 2006.
It passed its first resolution in 1758, that all riders must weigh in after a race.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, The Jockey Club had a clubhouse in Pall Mall, where many other gentlemen's clubs were based. The fact that it acquired a governing role in the sport reflected the dominant role of the aristocracy in British horse racing up to the 20th century, and the removal of this role was in part a conscious effect to move the sport away from its patrician image. This can be compared with the way that cricket's Marylebone Cricket Club became the governing body of cricket by default, but later surrendered most of its powers to more representative bodies.
Before 2006, it was one of the three bodies which provided management for horse racing in the United Kingdom in conjunction with the British Horseracing Board (itself an offshoot of The Jockey Club) and the Horserace Betting Levy Board.
These regulatory responsibilities were transferred to a new Horseracing Regulatory Authority (HRA) from 3 April 2006.This major re-organisation did not arise from a fundamental failure of the existing arrangements, but an understanding that the old system might not meet modern conditions. The HRA itself ceased to exist on 31 July 2007 as its regulatory duties were merged with the governing responsibility of the British Horseracing Board to create the new British Horseracing Authority.
The Jockey Club is run by executives who report to the Board of Stewards (directors). The chairman of the board is called the Senior Steward. As of December 2017 there were seven Stewards, including the Senior Steward and Deputy Senior Steward.Individuals may be elected as Members, who "are in effect 'trustees'. However, they may not profit from their role, as all profits are invested into British racing." As of December 2017 there were 162 Members, including 24 Honorary Members.
Jockey Club Racecourses was formerly called Racecourse Holdings Trust. The fifteen racecourses owned by Jockey Club Racecourses are:
Thoroughbred racing is a sport and industry involving the racing of Thoroughbred horses. It is governed by different national bodies. There are two forms of the sport – flat racing and jump racing, the latter known as National Hunt racing in the UK and steeplechasing in the US. Jump racing can be further divided into hurdling and steeplechasing.
Horse racing is the second largest spectator sport in Great Britain, and one of the longest established, with a history dating back many centuries. According to a report by the British Horseracing Authority it generates £3.39 billion total direct and indirect expenditure in the British economy, of which £1.05 Billion is from core racing industry expenditure and the major horse racing events such as Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival are important dates in the British and international sporting and society calendar.
Newmarket is a market town in the English county of Suffolk, approximately 65 miles north of London. It is generally considered the birthplace and global centre of thoroughbred horse racing. It is a major local business cluster, with annual investment rivalling that of the Cambridge Science Park, the other major cluster in the region. It is the largest racehorse training centre in Britain, the largest racehorse breeding centre in the country, home to most major British horseracing institutions, and a key global centre for horse health. Two Classic races, and an additional three British Champions Series races are held at Newmarket every year. The town has had close royal connections since the time of James I, who built a palace there, and was also a base for Charles I, Charles II, and most monarchs since. The current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, visits the town often to see her horses in training.
The Fillies' Mile is a Group 1 flat horse race in Great Britain open to two-year-old fillies. It is run on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket over a distance of 1 mile, and it is scheduled to take place each year in October.
In horse racing in the United Kingdom, France and Republic of Ireland, National Hunt racing requires horses to jump fences and ditches. National Hunt racing in the UK is informally known as "jumps" and is divided into two major distinct branches: hurdles and steeplechases. Alongside these there are "bumpers", which are National Hunt flat races. In a hurdles race, the horses jump over obstacles called hurdles; in a steeplechase the horses jump over a variety of obstacles that can include plain fences, water jump or an open ditch. In the UK the biggest National Hunt events of the year are generally considered to be the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
From 10 June 1993 until 30 July 2007, the British Horseracing Board (BHB) was the governing authority for horseracing in Great Britain. It was created in 1993, and took on responsibilities previously held by the Jockey Club. This was intended to help modernise the sport, as the Jockey Club is a private members' club with a traditionally aristocratic membership, and was seen by some as being unaccountable and a relic of the tradition of amateurism in British sports administration. The Jockey Club however retained responsibility for matters concerned with the regulation of the sport, such as integrity, discipline and equine health. The British Horseracing Board focused on organising and promoting the sport and enhancing its commercial position. This was an extract from its statement of aims published in 2006:
As the Governing Authority for Racing, we will promote the interests of our sport and industry in whatever way we can.... We will work to attract and retain more racehorse owners, racegoers and other customers. We will seek to maintain and promote horseracing as a competitive and attractive sport and betting medium. We also wish to see the best possible training and working conditions for those employed in the industry, and the highest possible standards of care for horses.
Newmarket Racecourse is a British Thoroughbred horse racing venue in Newmarket, Suffolk, comprising two individual racecourses: the Rowley Mile and the July Course. Newmarket is often referred to as the headquarters of British horseracing and is home to the largest cluster of training yards in the country and many key horse racing organisations, including Tattersalls, the National Horseracing Museum and the National Stud. Newmarket hosts two of the country's five Classic Races - the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas, and numerous other Group races. In total, it hosts 9 of British racing's 36 annual Group 1 races.
Racing TV is a British television channel with 34 racecourses as shareholders and fixtures from 61 racecourses broadcast live on its output. As Racing UK grew several other business units and joint ventures were developed under the ownership of the parent company Racecourse Media Group Ltd. Racing TV is one of the two major UK horse racing television channels, the other being Sky Sports Racing. The station is dedicated to horse racing broadcasting over 70% of all live racing from Britain and Ireland, including nearly 90% of all Group and Graded races.
The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa (NHA), formerly the Jockey Club of Southern Africa, is the Southern African equivalent of the American and British Jockey Clubs. The main purpose of the National Horseracing Authority is to prevent malpractice and corruption in South African horse racing. The organisation is established by an act of parliament in South Africa, and regulates the thoroughbred horse racing industry in South Africa.
Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is the governing body of horse racing on the island of Ireland. The HRI mission statement is "to develop and promote Ireland as a world centre of excellence for horse racing and breeding". Like most other sports, horse racing is run on an All Ireland basis, so Horse Racing Ireland is responsible for racing in both the Republic of Ireland, which has 24 racecourses, and in Northern Ireland, which has two racecourses. The remit of the British Horseracing Authority does not extend to Northern Ireland. HRI was founded in 2001, succeeding the Irish Horseracing Authority, the 1994 successor to the Racing Board founded in 1945.
Gordon Elliott is a County Meath-based National Hunt racehorse trainer. After riding as an amateur jockey, he took out a trainer's licence in 2006. He was 29 when his first Grand National entry, the 33 to 1 outsider Silver Birch, won the 2007 race. In 2018 and 2019 he won the Grand National with Tiger Roll, ridden by Davy Russell and owned by Gigginstown House Stud, the first horse since Red Rum to win the race twice. In 2018 he also won the Irish Grand National, with General Principle. On two occasions, in 2017 and 2018, he was the top trainer at the Cheltenham Festival.
Authorized is an Irish-bred and British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse, winner of the 2007 Epsom Derby.
Ian Balding is a retired British horse trainer. He is the son of the polo player and racehorse trainer Gerald Matthews Balding and the younger brother of trainer Toby Balding. Ian Balding was born in the US, but his family returned to the UK in 1945. He was educated at Marlborough College and Millfield school in Somerset. He went up to Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1959 to read Rural Estate Management, where he played Rugby for the university team, gaining his Blue in 1961 at full back. He started training in 1964. Kingsclere became his home at the age of 26 and it is here that earned his reputation as an internationally respected trainer.
Gerald Barnard Balding Jr. OBE, known as Toby Balding, was a British racehorse trainer, one of the few to have won the "big three" British jump races—the Grand National, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle.
The son of the prolific horseracing trainer Martin Pipe David Pipe is the trainer of the David Johnson owned Comply or Die, which ridden by Timmy Murphy won the 2008 John Smith's Grand National at Aintree racecourse. He is also the trainer of the Somerset Racing-owned Rathlin Rose, which ridden by Guy Disney was the first horse to win a race at a professional race course in Britain while being ridden by an amputee jockey, at the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown Park Racecourse, in Esher in Surrey, on 17 February 2017.
The British Horseracing Authority, also known simply as the BHA, is the regulatory authority for horse racing in Great Britain.
The National Hunt Challenge Cup is a Grade 2 National Hunt steeplechase in Great Britain for amateur riders which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 3 miles 6 furlongs, and during its running there are twenty-three fences to be jumped. The race is for novice chasers, and it is scheduled to take place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The 2012 Grand National was the 165th annual renewal of the Grand National horse race at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England. The showpiece steeplechase, which concluded a three-day meeting which is one of only four held at Aintree throughout the year, took place on 14 April 2012. The maximum permitted field of 40 runners ran the last 4 miles 856 yards (7.220 km) of Aintree's National Course featuring 30 fences, competing for record prize money of £975,000, making it the highest-valued National Hunt race in the United Kingdom.
Philip Blacker was a jockey until his retirement in 1982. Since then, he has been a sculptor of sporting arts.
Bryony Frost is an English jockey from Buckfastleigh, Devon. She is the first female jockey to win a Grade One race over obstacles at the 2019 Cheltenham British horse racing Festival.