GOODWOOD RACECOURSE DIRECTOR

Peter Jones has been passionate about horseracing for as long as he can remember and made his first visit to Goodwood when he was in his early teens.

Throughout his working life he has alternated his career between advertising and horseracing.

Following eight years at Gravesend Grammar where he was the school bookmaker, Peter studied statistics at The London School of Economics where he claimed he would have got a better degree if he had spent less time at the races. At LSE, Peter travelled to London in his first year with fellow student, Mick Jagger. His first piece of marketing advice was to tell Mick that The Rolling Stones would never catch on.

Undaunted, Peter went into advertising after LSE, specialising in market research and was soon invited to help form a new advertising agency called Boase Massimi Pollitt. That was soon highly successful and Jones was closely involved in the much acclaimed Smash ads featuring the Martians and the national launch of John Smith’s Bitter.

In parallel, Peter published his first book called Trainers Record, a punter’s guide to the performance of trainers. Originally compiled by hand, Trainers Record was the forerunner of the statistics now used every day in the racing press.

During a spell away from advertising in the mid ’80s, Jones made further use of his anorak tendencies in the launch of the Racing Post. In the early years, Peter and his Dorset team created all the form pages for the Post which then made up half the newspaper.

Around the same time, Peter joined the Council of the Racehorse Owners Association, becoming President in 1990 and a founder member of the British Horseracing Authority in 1993.

Back in advertising, Jones joined the main board of Omnicom, the world’s biggest marketing services group when it bought BMP in 1989 and was based in New York for part of the 90s. In 1995, Peter joined the tote board and was made chairman by the government in 1997, a post he held for 10 years until December, 2007.

He lists as his main achievements, the introduction of the Scoop6, the provision of big screens on racecourses and the retention of Channel 4. In his time as Chairman, the tote’s financial performance improved out of all recognition.

Peter splits his time between London and Dorset where he is active in the local community having been chairman of the Dorset Police Authority from 1997 to 2003.

He is married to Liz with four adult children and four grandchildren who often join him in pursuit of his main hobby of going to live sports events. Peter is a keen follower of Charlton and Chelsea football, Kent cricket and Welsh rugby.

Peter Jones was awarded the CBE in the 2008 New Years Honours.

What to read next on Eclipse Magazine