When Newmarket Racecourses’ 2012 season launches with the Craven meeting on Wednesday, 18 April, it’s unlikely that anyone will be more excited than the new Managing Director Amy Starkey.
The 30-year-old has previously fulfilled the same role at both Huntingdon and Kempton Park before taking on her latest assignment at the start of this week.
Amy said: “It’s a huge honour to be asked to become the Managing Director of Newmarket Racecourses. Newmarket is famous the world over as the home of Flat racing in Britain and the racing here is as good as it gets.
“Away from the high quality of the sport, the two racecourses are also brilliant venues where events such as Newmarket Nights are already ‘institutions’ in their own right and I can’t wait to be involved with those occasions.”
Amy added: “I aim to use the experience I’ve built up as Managing Director at two of the other racecourses within Jockey Club Racecourses to make a success of my new position.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the team created by my predecessor here, Stephen Wallis, who I have long admired for the fantastic way that he led both Epsom Downs and Newmarket Racecourses over many years.
“At the same time, I am very sad to leave behind a really great team at Kempton Park. Without their inspired and committed efforts, we could not have made the progress and achieved the successes that we did.”
Amy is the first to admit that her new job brings its own set of challenges – not least getting to grips with the Racecourses’ role within the racing community and the historic town of Newmarket.
She said: “There are so many people who I need to meet and get to know. It’s something that I’m relishing, but it is an enormous task to get up to speed quickly with everything that is happening at Newmarket Racecourses and in the wider racing community here.”
Amy, whose PR initiatives at Kempton Park drew national acclaim, is particularly keen to draw more people to the Rowley Mile racecourse – both on race-days and non race-days where its facilities and location make it an ideal venue for conferences and events.
She said: “If I was to mention one aspect that I will be focusing on in the weeks and months ahead, then it would be that we will be trying to increase the number of visitors on the Rowley Mile.
“Of course, there will be lots of challenges in different areas, but I look forward to facing up to them with the Newmarket team, which contains a lot of experienced and creative people.”