Goodwood Racecourse

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Goodwood Racecourse's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Goodwood Racecourse is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
AdamWaterworth, managing
director of sport
The grandstands at
Goodwood Racecourse is seated upon a sporting estate
that has existed for over 300 years – the family seat
of the Duke of Richmond – and first hosted a private
meeting in 1802 for local army members. Over the following
200 years, it would come to host the Festival of Speed,
Goodwood Revival and one of the most acclaimed racing
festivals of the calendar year and the jewel in the estate’s
luxurious crown, the Qatar Goodwood Festival, affectionately
known as “Glorious Goodwood”. The racecourse hosts a total
of 19 days of racing each year, with fixtures running from May
to October. The course has become an integral part of the
English summer social scene, the week of the festival especially
so, and has maintained its position as a destination of cultural
relevance over three centuries. Managing director of sport Adam
Waterworth discusses what makes Goodwood so unique.
We’re a big part of the annual pattern of sporting events, especially the racing
calendar. The last Tuesday of July has been a date pinned in many people’s diaries
for decades. What the course itself, however, is most famous for – rather than the
events held there – is its position. The estate is located just outside of Chichester,
West Sussex, and perched atop the South Downs.
The view is truly spectacular. The front of our grandstand looks over and beyond
the course to the rolling chalk hills of the South Downs, a vista that has been
effectively untouched for over 200 years. On a warm summer’s day, it’s an
incredibly English setting – and this national cultural significance and heritage
»Managing director of sport:
»Established in 1802
»Based in Goodwood, West
»Services: Summer racecourse
and festival venue for
the Festival of Speed and
Goodwood Revival
»No. of employees: 748
»The course is situated on the
family seat of the Duke of
is such a point of pride for us at
Goodwood. The course itself winds its
way through the natural contours of
the South Downs, and is possibly the
most idiosyncratic of its kind in British
racing; if there had been no racecourse
here and we were to build one now,
people would call us insane. What
really makes our course work is its
history, its heritage and its outstanding
natural beauty.
World Horse Racing
World Horse Racing is an initiative to
drive a digital following within horse
racing that’s concerned primarily with
the sport. Over the last 25 years, and
especially the last ten, it’s amassed a
real global viewership and there’s been
a massive influx of foreign runners in
the country. European horses racing in
the US and Australia is now very much
a normal occurrence – it’s become an
international sport.
There doesn’t, however, seem to be
anybody telling that global story.
When you look at the internet, most
of the digital activity concerning
racing expresses the gambling side,
focusing on odds, runners and
predictions. In contrast, we felt that
there were far too many stories to be
told “behind the scenes” of the sport;
for example, human interest and
the actual context of certain horses.
We like to express the deeper, more
intriguing circumstances of the sport,
and will be doing so for the time
being across Glorious Goodwood,
Royal Ascot, Melbourne Cup and the
Breeders’ Cup, having joined forces
to form what is effectively a new
We want to drive a significant
audience within the social media
sphere and follow the sport of horse
racing to produce great content
collaboratively. We, together,
recognised that nobody was tapping
into this global market, and, in May
this year, launched World Horse
Racing, unearthing brilliant stories to
promote a “hidden” side of the sport.
Some of them have been slightly off-
the-wall – for instance, Gronkowski,
the horse, meeting Rob Gronkowski,
his namesake – and some of them
have been emotional tales of human
interest, focusing on jockeys that have
had serious injuries and what they’re
doing now. Thus far, many of these
rich, powerful stories have been well
received; we anticipate that if we can
continue to do this, we’ll be able to
drive a new, refreshing take on the
sport and expand its reach. We want
to tell the wider story of horseracing
to a global audience – and we’re
confident that, over the coming years,
we can see this realised.
The triennial review
The government’s decision to lower
the maximum fixed odds betting
terminal (FOBT) stakes from £100to£2
Flemington, home of the
Melbourne Cup
The royal procession at
World Horse
Racing is an
initiative to drive
a digital
following within
horse racing
that’s concerned
primarily with
the sport
Highlighting best practice
after the triennial review will, whether
or not it’s right or wrong aside,
naturally have an impact on the
funding of horseracing as a sport.
When these changes take hold, they
could feasibly cost the sport and the
sector up to £50 million. This will be
a challenge facing all courses, and
everyone involved with the sport – not
just us.
To work through this difficulty,
we must collaborate with other
racecourses, owners, trainers and,
most importantly, the government, to
discuss how we can fill the gap the
gaming sector currently provides, and
continue to grow the sport. There
are other actions we can take, and
we’re constantly appraised and aware
of current legislation, but we do
nonetheless work very closely with the
bookmaking industry, and it provides
an important revenue stream.
If we are to prosper in the future,
the relationship between betting and
racing must become complementary.
We are, however, making good
strides in this regard. Bookmakers and
racecourses are presently as close as
we’ve ever been in quite some time,
and we are together committing to
responsibly growing and cultivating
interest in the sport.
Continuing to thrive
Finally, every British business is on
the same page to some degree here;
Brexit is, of course, something we
must consider. We’re all looking
forward to getting that certainty,
to understanding how it’ll play out
and to effectively forecast the British
economy. Although our corporate
market is thankfully strong and we
haven’t been massively affected just
yet, it is essential that we operate
within a healthy and thriving economy
– we’re a leisure business, and that’s
built on the back of disposable income.
We’re as keen as anyone else to get to
a place where national confidence is
high and the economy is stable.
Whatever happens with Europe, we
remain confident. Our course has been
here since 1802, for over 210 years,
and we’re not going anywhere just
yet. Racing is a popular British sport,
and we’re a popular part of British
culture. We’re in a strong position,
and although we do need to work
on aspects of our offering to remain
relevant, and although there will be
challenges, I think we’ll be ready for
whatever we encounter, and I hope we
can remain a formidable player in the
horse racing sphere for another three
happens with
Europe, we
confident. Our
course has
been here
since 1802,
for over 210
years, and
we’re not
Trackside for the
Breeders’ Cup

This article was sponsored by Goodwood Racecourse. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy