Community Engagement

Yellow Brick Road

Organisations and groups from across Newmarket are coming together to re-generate the Yellow Brick Road (YBR) with a number of events, improvement works and community projects, it has been announced today.

The aim of the project is to increase the town’s connection and sense of ownership with the YBR, drive footfall and use of the space and ultimately transform its purpose to be a safe, enjoyable beneficial asset for Newmarket’s residents and visitors.

The plans, which were shared with Newmarket Town Council at their meeting on Monday 7th June, will take place over the rest of 2021 and have involvement from right across Newmarket.

More information on the project and the organisations involved can be found here. The first community event will be a litter pick on Saturday 3rd July organised by The Racing Centre in conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy.

A crowd funding page for the project has also been set up to help fund some of the proposed improvements to the area, which can be accessed here:

Donation page to support the YBR Project

Peter Stanley, Chair of Jockey Club Estates and The Racing Centre, said:

“This is an exciting project, and one which we believe will have real benefits for Newmarket and its residents.

“We know there is a desire within the community to regenerate the Yellow Brick Road and based on the response we have had so far, there appears to be a real desire to transform the space to become an asset for the town.

“We hope that the project will be an example of what can be achieved when we work together and we are extremely grateful to the organisations, people and businesses across Newmarket who have offered their help and support so far.”

About the Newmarket Community Network

The Newmarket Community Network came together at the beginning of the COVID pandemic to provide a conduit for organisations and businesses across the town to volunteer their time and resources and deliver community projects, such as Project Christmas where 3000 presents were delivered to the children of Newmarket via a carnival float on a 5 hour trip around the town and the Newmarket pop up shop which provided aid to those who were struggling during the pandemic.

Keeping Epsom and Walton Downs safe and enjoyable for all – education project

Epsom and Walton Downs are a much loved and used green open space. As the landowner it is important that we ensure those who use the Downs to work, the racehorse training community, are able to do so safely.

Racehorses and those who train them have priority at certain times of the day, but we must also balance this with the enjoyment that the general public get from the Downs.

The unprecedented increase in people working from home and needing green and open space during the pandemic meant that the Downs saw a huge increase in people using them.

This has presented significant challenges for the racehorse training community, who have priority during the following times:

Racehorse training hours

6am – 12 noon Monday to Saturday

8am – 9:30am Sunday

When they are trying to do their job, also increasing the risk of an accident.

As such, a community education project is beginning through the autumn and winter of 2021/22 to educate, inform and work with the local community around the Downs and to ask for their help in keeping everyone safe.

We are asking the general public not to use the Downs during racehorse training hours unless they absolutely have to. If it cannot be avoided, they are asked to use the areas outlined on the map below.

There will be further updates on this project in the coming months, and for more information please see this FAQs document or e-mail Epsom.reception@thejockeyclub.co.uk.

Open Days and the Henry Cecil Open Weekend

Newmarket’s Henry Cecil Open Weekend has become a popular event in recent years with thousands of people travelling from all over the country to visit Newmarket and see behind the scenes into the yards based in the town. Jockey Club Estates plays a fundamental role in delivering the weekend, providing both land and personnel to give visitors the best possible experience. The event raises funds for local causes. Similar events are run at both Lambourn on Good Friday and Epsom in September which marks the beginning of National Racehorse Week, allowing visitors an insight into working with racehorses while also providing a family day out and raising money for local charities and benevolent funds.

The 2021 Henry Cecil Open Weekend was a great success with a record number of visitors welcomed to the town. Don't forget to watch out for the 2022 dates by visiting the website The Henry Cecil Open Weekend.

Also, for those wanting to get behind the scenes more than once a year be sure to book an exclusive tour with Discover Newmarket.

Rotary Awards

In collaboration with The Jockey Club, Newmarket Town Council and Newmarket Journal, the Rotary Club of Newmarket organised a Community Awards scheme to recognise those in and around the town who have gone ‘above and beyond’ in the past year. The past year has been difficult for many people and the club is wanting to recognise those who have exemplified the Rotary motto of Service Above Self by their deeds naturally, and instinctively, without thinking, and without reward.

A prestigious presentation event was held at The Jockey Club Rooms on July 31st, to present the winners with their awards. Clare, Countess of Euston, the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, thanked all nominees for their contribution to the community. The trophies were presented by Mr Bob Champion CBE who was joined by Councillor Jeffries (Town Mayor), Tony Savill (Rotary Newmarket President), Alison Hayes (Newmarket Journal), and Alistair Thomson (Tesco) to present the awards.

A special mention must go to Jockey Club Estates employee Donna Loades who was runner up in the Volunteer Adults category. Donna has contributed so much to the local community, putting others before herself and ensuring that the vulnerable were cared for in the most difficult times. Please see photograph below courtesy of Newmarket Journal.

For further details please visit 2021 Local Community Awards.

Educational activities

Every year Jockey Club Estates works with Newmarket Racecourse on Godolphin Dubai Future Champions Education Week (DFCEW) – a series of activities that gives all the students from Year 8 at Newmarket Academy a chance to learn about the inner workings of the horseracing industry. The event is aimed at highlighting both the historical and current importance of horseracing to the town, together with the varied career opportunities on offer. In addition, in conjunction with Discover Newmarket, Jockey Club Estates provide tours of the Training Grounds and racing yards to local schools and members of the public. Similarly in Epsom, behind the scenes tours of the racecourse are staged for local schools and community groups.

Our Heath Medics also provide first aid training and defibrillator training to members of the public. (see below)

Public access to private land

In Newmarket and Lambourn Jockey Club Estates owns and maintains over 3,000 acres of private land. The Newmarket Training Grounds are open to the public after 1pm daily for use by all locals and visitors for fresh air and exercise. It is hard to think of another town of comparable size to Newmarket with as much space open and accessible for public use. Our property has been used to host many local events and good causes in recent years, including the Henry Cecil Open Weekend, Lambourn Open Day, Epsom Open Day, Newmarket Soapbox Derby, Newmarket Food and Drink Festival, Run Newmarket and Newmarket Heath Ride to name a few.

First Responder aid to the Community

In Newmarket we run a Heath Medics service which was originally set up to come to the aid of injured stable staff from the local training yards. However, our Medics, Rob and Alex, do far more than that. They have been responsible for the installation of a defibrillator on the High Street, for use in any emergency, are often seen at local events providing first aid services and have regularly been called to local emergencies as first responders. Our Lead Heath Medic, Rob Achner was among the nominees for the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Community Award 2021.

Goodwill and community support

Our staff are encouraged to get involved with local charities, community initiatives and fund raisers both through Jockey Club Estates and individually. Some examples include, but are not limited to, the voluntary clean up of community areas, befriending schemes, helping at Newmarket Open Door, hosting the Epsom and Ewell and Mole Valley ‘Junior Citizen’ child safety event, sporting events aimed at raising money for charity, helping to maintain trees and hedges to keep the community looking at its best, litter picking and restoring fencing at a local primary school.

The year 2020 was an unusual and difficult, but our team rose to the challenges they were faced with. Throughout both lockdowns, our Training Grounds remained operational for racehorses in the mornings and provided plenty of much needed space for local residents to exercise while socially distancing.

In Newmarket we also played a big part in an initiative to help the vulnerable during the pandemic by working together with local organisations such as Newmarket Racecourses, the Council, Tesco Newmarket, Newmarket Festival and Discover Newmarket setting up a helpline and delivery service for those in need.

In Epsom, The Jockey Club team as a whole contributed to a community initiative titled the East Surrey Poverty Truth Commission. This project was aimed at bringing local people and businesses together to find meaningful and lasting solutions to Surrey’s hidden but prevalent issues related to poverty.

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