Established in 1750, The Jockey Club is a private members’ club that originally controlled and supervised the sport of horse racing. It was first set up by a group of wealthy horse racing enthusiasts brought together by their shared passion and commitment to the sport. It is not a club for jockeys but instead it comprises individuals from business, the professions and all facets of racing. The Jockey Club is dedicated to improving the sport and investing in its future therefore all profits generated by the club are put back into the sport.
The Jockey Club was once the regulatory board of horse racing in Britain under the British Horseracing Board (BHB). It gave up its duties in 2004 and now concentrates on developing its commercial activities, with all profits generated reinvested into racing.
Employing over 550 people to do the job, in the last decade or so Jockey Club Estates have invested more than seven million pounds in thoroughly up-to-date training facilities. There are also strict Jockey Club registration procedures where racetrack officials identify each horse before every race and conduct tests to detect the presence of medication or drugs that might affect the outcome of a race.
In addition the club guards against bad practice at UK race courses. Using videotapes of a race’s progress and high-speed cameras at the finish line as evidence, stewards representing The Jockey Club can disqualify horses and penalise jockeys for such misdemeanors as interference and dangerous riding.
Members can only be elected to join the Jockey Club on the strength of their knowledge and experience of racing and any assistance they are able to give in helping The Jockey Club to achieve its known objectives. Historically it has always been one of the more exclusive high-ranking social clubs in Britain. Many of its members are successful racehorse owners, while Her Majesty the Queen remains its Patron.
The Jockey Club is divided into these distinct sections:
Jockey Club Racecourses:
The specialist group responsible for the ownership and operation of a diversified portfolio of 14 racecourses including Cheltenham, Aintree, Epsom and Newmarket.
Jockey Club Estates:
Responsible for the club’s property and land management company, as well as the management and administration of 5000 acres of land in and around the training centres of Newmarket and Lambourn. It also has an extensive property portfolio, including The Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket which provides the venue for regular meetings of the Club and the Stewards and caters for the 650 Members of the Rooms.
The National Stud:
The National Stud was established in 1916 in order to guarantee a supply of good quality light horses for cavalry. However The National Stud was transferred from the Government to National Stud Limited, a subsidiary of The Jockey Club in April 2008, and they have agreed to continue to provide educational and training schemes for stud staff, as well as public access to the stud, for a minimum of five years.
This is a registered charity limited by guarantee, with the Jockey Club being the sole member. Its principal objective is to provide help to those in need who work, or have worked in the Thoroughbred industry and also their dependants.
For more information visit their website: www.thejockeyclub.co.uk