Seamus Buckley was given a guard of honour by jockeys in the Winner’s Enclosure at Goodwood Racecourse on Sunday 15 October, with a large crowd gathered around to celebrate the retirement of the popular Clerk of the Course.
Buckley, who has overseen the ground-staff operations at the West Sussex venue for 23 seasons, was taking care of his last fixture at the Season Finale and the reception he received from riders, trainers, owners, racegoers and Goodwood staff was held in great affection.
Buckley said; “I’ve got mixed emotions about things and my main concern was that everything went well on the final day. It’s been a privilege being at Goodwood all these years and wonderful to have my ‘racing family’ down here to enjoy this day with me.”
Attended by 10,475 racegoers, the Season Finale proved a fitting end to Goodwood’s racing year, with an autumnal atmosphere created by traditional hog roasts, craft beers and brewery talks, marshmallow toasting and a fiddle band.
Alex Eade, General Manager, said; “It has been another truly memorable year here and the racing has been superb. Today’s new theme has been extremely well-received by a great crowd and it was wonderful to give Seamus such an emotional send-off. We are already excited for 2018 and tickets for next year’s fixtures will go on sale on Monday [16 October].”
The crowd were treated to some exciting action on track and the conclusion of a closely fought battle for the Dick Hern trophy, awarded to the trainer who had the most winners at the course throughout the season.
Mark Johnston, who made the 588-mile round trip from his Yorkshire base, was crowned the victor having saddled eight winners – the eighth of which was Teofonic, who won the ‘Download the app at 188Bet’ Handicap.