Claire Sheppard ,chief executive of Plumpton Racecourse, has been head-hunted by the Racecourse Association, and has been appointed as RCA Racing Executive- a key position reporting to the Chief Executive and RCA Board.
The announcement was made on Tuesday by the Racecourse Association. Claire has been chief executive at Plumpton Racecourse since July 2008.
The association said the date of her appointment will be announced in due course once Claire has agreed the details of her handover with the Plumpton Board.
RCA Chief Executive, Stephen Atkin, welcomed the appointment, saying, “We are delighted that Claire is joining the RCA team in this key role. Claire brings a wealth of experience, not only in areas such as the Fixture List and race planning, but also in racecourse management generally. We look forward to working with her in the years ahead.”
Claire Sheppard said, “I am very much looking forward to joining the RCA team and serving all racecourses, utilising my years of experience in both the racing and betting industries to help progress strategy in these fundamental areas to our business. I have had a memorable five years at Plumpton, and sincerely thank the Directors and Plumpton staff for their vital support.”
Earlier this year, Claire, alongside Plumpton Racecourse director, Adrian Pratt, announced major expansion plans for Plumpton Racecourse, as well as a boost to prize money at the track for the 2013/14 season.
Plumpton will have total prize money increased by 37 per cent in 2013, rising from £476,000 to £652,000.
A new feature race of the year on Easter Sunday will be the £25,000 totepool Sussex Champion Hurdle, while an Easter Racing Festival will boast prize money of £108,000 as a result of sponsorship by totepool, with the prize fund double that of 2012.
In addition there will be an upgrade of the Parade Ring and main entrance area during the current closed summer period.
Parade ring and winners’ enclosure would improve safety and welfare as well as visitor experience with a more prominent winners’ enclosure. Work which started in Mid-May will be completed for the new season in September.
This will bring a new entrance to the racecourse, two further saddling boxes for trainers, and the parade ring and winners’ enclosure would feature an in and out area. There will be better visibility of the winning and placed horses and the scheme will improve safety and welfare.