Interview with Lucy Wheeler of Cheltenham Racecourse

Tell us about your role with the Racecourse? What do you do, who for, who with and how does it relate to the rest of the business?

My role as part of the Marketing Team at Cheltenham is to help manage the Jockey Club Cheltenham and South West Syndicate. A large part of the role is managing communications with our members and event planning as well as promoting the Syndicate. Members of the syndicate receive full annual member access to Cheltenham, Exeter, Warwick and Wincanton; I work closely with our marketing team to encourage racing across our region.

What made you decide to work in racing? What are the best bits of your job and why?
Having grown up in the countryside I started riding horses at a young age and always loved going to watch at the races with my parents. Working within the racing industry allows me to combine my passion for racing with a rewarding career. My role at Cheltenham involves lots of visits to different yards and race meetings, I get the chance to share the excitement of racing with our Syndicate members.

Horseracing is perceived as a male-dominated industry; mostly male jockeys, owners and trainers. How hard is it to be a woman in the industry?
I’ve been fortunate to experience many different sides to the industry; having ridden as an amateur jockey, worked in trainer’s yards and also within racing administration. Whilst it’s perhaps harder to succeed as a female jockey I think the career opportunities for women in the industry as a whole are constantly improving. This is largely helped via initiatives such as ‘Women in Racing’, which has been created to develop the profile of women within industry and to encourage senior appointments across the sport.

Do you have an all-time favourite horse?
Kauto Star was one of my favourites, he was one of the most successful steeplechasers of modern times and won the Cheltenham Gold Cup twice.

Racehorse ownership seems like a distant dream for many people. Are there many women owners in the industry? How can our members get involved?
Yes there certainly are lots of women owners. A great way to become involved with racehorse ownership is to become part of a syndicate, in which members share the ownership of the horse with others; offering a cost-effective way to experience the thrill of ownership. It also provides a way to meet new friends and experience racing from the inside.

Who are the horses and owners to watch for 2017? Are there any top tips you can give us?
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls is back on top of the trainers’ table this season as he sets out to win an 11th championship. The pinnacle of jump racing is the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which takes place on the Friday of Cheltenham Festival week, 14th-17thMarch 2017. Irish horse Don Cossack is the defending champion after his famous victory and will be aimed at a repeat in 2017 as long as he recovers from an injury lay-off.

The Jockey Club Cheltenham & South West Syndicate is designed as an introduction to racing ownership; members have a share in 3 exciting horses with top trainers and a host of other benefits such as annual racecourse memberships and exclusive stable visits. Memberships are on sale now priced at £2,590 for 2 years, please contact

Lucy Wheeler – 01242 537675 or email:

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