“It is essential to be confident and to enjoy dealing with people in this role”
Joline Saunders – Racing Secretary
I have a very varied and enjoyable job. I don’t ride out, although many Racing Secretaries do, and the mornings tend to be very busy, with the first important deadline being declarations for runners the next day, which have to be made by 10am.
The next important deadline is for entries which are made six days in advance of the fixture and they have to be done by midday. In between these deadlines, we often have owners to be looked after, plenty of emails to send and phone calls to deal with. The afternoons are spent updating the website, making sure the accounts are up to date and completing any Weatherbys paperwork that needs to be done.
I have always loved horses and horseracing in particular from an early age. My parents used to take me to Worcester racecourse, which was our local track, on a regular basis.
After leaving school with A levels, I started my working life in the office of a recruitment agency, where I learned my office skills, before working for Vodafone in their sales department at their head office. After five years there I decided it was time to do something I enjoyed and began to pursue a career in the horseracing industry as a Racing Secretary.
I went racing as often as I could to try and make contacts and came across our Assistant Trainer Gordy Clarkson at Stratford in August 2001. It came up in conversation that I was looking for a Racing Secretary job and it just so happened that Richard Phillips was looking for someone. I arranged a meeting with Richard the following day at Worcester and have been working for him ever since.
It is essential to be confident and to enjoy dealing with people in this role as it involves speaking to a lot of owners, potential owners, jockeys and racecourses on a regular basis. I would also highly recommend the Racing Secretaries course that is offered by the British Racing School and the Northern Racing College.
Becoming a Racing Secretary
Whilst many Trainers are happy to employ somebody with no previous racing secretary experience it is essential to have basic admin skills and be computer literate. The Racing Secretary course would be useful if you feel you slightly lack these skills. There are usually job vacancies for Racing Secretary positions on the Job Board.