Our Boxing Day seems a distant memory and now we’re all gearing up for a hectic but exciting programme in 2013, writes Fontwell Park general manager Tracy Skinner.
We’ve 24 fixtures ahead of us and I’m delighted to say interest in them is already strong.
Sales of annual badges are strong – very much up on last year –and advance sales for our first meeting, the January Sales race day on Sunday week, are going nicely.
We’ve not been able to do much work on the track because of the weather so the groundstaf have been keeping busy helping our newly-appointed gardener Daniel Gould.
He used to ride out for John Dunlop before moving into landscape gardening and we’ve brought him in because we appreciate the need to keep our lovely grounds looking a picture.
Hopefully the cold snap will have passed by the time our first meeting comes around. It’s the first of an almost non-stop calendar of race cards for us.
The big early-year one is All About The Horse race day on Sunday, February 24, when we’ll have local Olympic three-day eventer Tina Cook demonstrating her Olympic display.
That day will also include our first Josh Gifford Memorial Race, which we hope will be a fitting tribute to a real racing legend, who was a big supporter of Fontwell.
There’ll be lots of other activities that day aimed at educating race-goers about the racehorse.
Looking a little further ahead, we have a Cheltenham preview on Wednesday, March 6, when a top panel of industry experts will look ahead to the following week’s famous festival for the benefit of our race-goers, before our own race card.
As this is my first column since Boxing Day, I’d like to thank everyone who braved the rain and came. We had 5,500 through the gates, which was terrific.
It was tricky rejigging car parking as some areas were too muddy but we did it, with the help and understanding of visitors, and were delighted to get our festive fixture on for a second straight year.
- Tracy Skinner
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