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Published: 06/12/2010


Thirsk Racecourse has appointed International Racecourse Management Limited (IRM) to manage its affairs

with effect from Tuesday 4th January 2011, when the current Managing Director and Clerk of the Course, Christopher Tetley,

who has managed Thirsk Racecourse since 1985, will step-down.


Paying tribute to Christopher Tetley the Thirsk Chairman John Smith said:-


            “Christopher has done a great job developing Thirsk Racecourse into a thriving

            modern country track and, after some 25 years at the helm, he has now decided           

            to step-down.    On behalf of everybody connected with Thirsk, we wish him a

            long and happy retirement.   We are, however, delighted that Christopher will

            continue as non-executive Director of Thirsk, as well as assisting IRM in his

            capacity as a Clerk of the Course, and so he will remain a familiar figure around

            the Racecourse!”


Christopher Tetley said:-


            “I have had many wonderful years as Managing Director at Thirsk and would like

            to thank my co-Directors and all of the staff for their support throughout my

            tenure.     Like a number of racecourses in recent years, with careful investment

            Thirsk Racecourse has evolved into a modern, thriving and diverse business and

            leisure venue and I am delighted to have played a part in Thirsk’s success.   I

            believe that now is the right time for me to step-aside as Managing Director.”


IRM Group Chief Executive John Sanderson said:-


            “IRM is both honoured and delighted to be charged with the future management

            of Thirsk Racecourse.   With the finances of British Racing in the mess they are,

following Christopher will not be easy;  British racecourses are facing-up to some huge

challenges and Thirsk is no exception!   The IRM team is ideally placed to manage Thirsk,

particularly at such a problematic time for the industry and we look forward to taking-over.”



Redcar adds to new-look team

Published: 31/10/2008 (Features)

REDCAR will welcome a new member to its revamped management team on Monday, when Amy Fair joins from Nottingham racecourse, where she was commercial manager.
Fair, 30, will be in charge of day-to-day management as well as having commercial responsibilities.
Fair, who moved from Newmarket to Nottingham as commercial manager a year ago, is IRM's second capture from Jockey Club Racecourses in as many months.
Warwick clerk of the course Fiona Needham was appointed general manager and clerk at Catterick last month to replace Jonjo Sanderson, who has succeeded his elder brother James at Wetherby.

IRM to run Redcar

Published: 27/09/2008 (News) Howard Wright

REDCAR chief executive Neil Etherington is leaving the troubled track at the end of the season, when John Sanderson's International Racecourse Management company will resume overall management control. Sanderson is a director of Redcar, writes Howard Wright.
IRM provided all management ser vices until Etherington was appointed three years ago, since when the racecourse company has run into a succession of local controversies, chiefly centring on chairman Lord Zetland's ambition to build a new racecourse.


Sanderson's group wins Bahrain contract

Published: 17/09/2008 (News) Howard Wright

JOHN SANDERSON'S International Racecourse Management company has landed the contract to help in the complete renovation of the sole racetrack in Bahrain, at Raffa, writes Howard Wright.
The move has led to a reshuffle among the group's senior management in Britain, in which Sanderson's two sons James and Jonjo are most affected, while the destination of new recruit Fiona Needham, who is working out her notice as Warwick clerk of the course, is now known.
James Sanderson is leaving his post as chief executive at Wetherby to run the Bahrain operation as project manager, and will be replaced by his younger brother Jonjo, currently general manager and clerk at Catterick. Jonjo's position will go to Needham, marking her first experience of racecourse management.
The departure overseas of James Sanderson, who headed IRM's operation in Saudi Arabia before returning to be chief executive atWetherby, means the Racecourse Association will have to fill his role as vice-chairman to David Thorpe.
Signatures have yet to be put on the deal between IRM and the Bahrain Equestrian and Racing Club, run by the ruling Al Khalifa family, with Sheikh Rashid bin Isa Al Khalifa as chairman.
However, Sanderson said: "It's coming together, but there has been an inevitable delay because it is Ramadan for the whole of September. We don't have a timetable yet, and the masterplan is still being put together, but racing starts again next month, and it will continue while the redevelopment takes place."


Needham set to join IRM

Published: 09/09/2008 (News)

FIONA NEEDHAM is standing down as clerk of the course at Warwick and Huntingdon to take up the same position with International Racecourse Management, for whom she will also have a management role.
IRM chief executive John Sanderson confirmed the appointment, but was unable to say at which of the group's three tracks - Wetherby, Redcar and Catterick - Needham will be based.
The move represents a career advance for the former amateur rider who was at the centre of controversy after the abandonment of Warwick's meeting on September 6 last year that resulted in the course being fined £2,500, although a disciplinary inquiry cleared her of any blame.
Needham said: "I am looking forward to joining IRM. I have thoroughly enjoyed my five years at Jockey Club Racecourses and appreciate all the opportunities and support they have given me."


BUSINESS MATTERS: IN TRAY - Tracks earn safety awards

Published: 30/04/2006 (Business) Howard Wright

HEALTH and safety awards have gone to four racecourses - Catterick, Redcar and Wether by, which are serviced by International Racecourse Management, and Chester.
IRM has collected the international safety award from the British Safety Council for the second year running.
Chief executive John Sanderson says: "We take Health and Safety extremely seriously, and these awards are a fitting tribute to the work done by Nick Russell, our safety manager, and the staff at the three courses."
At Chester, 30 race day assistants and evacuation stewards have been awarded NVQ Level 2 certificates after a course in spectator control.


Business Matters: course circular

Published: 17/04/2005 (Sport) Howard Wright

INTERNATIONAL Racecourse Management has scooped a major accolade from the British Safety Council for its health and safety commitment at Catterick, Redcar and Wetherby racecourses.
The International Safety Award will be handed over to chief executive John Sanderson and his team at a ceremony in London next month, after they came through a rigorous inspection of health and safety policies and implementation.
Sanderson paid tribute to the work of Nick Russell, H&S manager for IRM, while David Ballard, British Safety Council director general, said: ``The awards are a mark of proven and significant achievement in safety standards, and by making safety an important feature of everyday working practice, IRM is reducing accidents and ill health, while improving productivity and profitability.''

Hanoi Racecourse to be First in Vietnam in 70 Years

Date Posted: 3/26/2007 5:15:26 PM Last Updated: 3/28/2007 10:56:57 AM

Horseracing fans and gamblers in Vietnam will appreciate the news that the Far East country plans to build its first new racecourse in more than 70 years.

The new racecourse, along with a state of the art training center, will occupy a 125-hectare site at Soc Son, in the northern part of Hanoi, only six kilometers from the city’s Noi Bai international airport and with a direct rail link from the city center.

Racing will take place on two days each week while provision will be made for other leisure and sporting activities when there is no racing to ensure maximum use of the facilities.

It will be the first time that horseracing has been staged in Hanoi since 1898. Initial investment for the project is expected to be about US$60 million.

At present, Vietnam has only one horseracing venue, Phu Tho Racecourse, also known as Saigon Racing Club, in the southern city of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), which was established in 1932 under French colonial rule.

The Hanoi Tourist Corporation is using specialist racecourse consultant International Racecourse Management, which is based in Yorkshire, England, to assist in the development of the new racecourse.

As well as working with home-based racecourses such as Catterick and Wetherby, IRM has provided consultancy to a number of international clients.

The company, which was involved with Phu Tho Racecourse in the early 1990s, helped to develop the King Abdul Aziz Racecourse and training center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is working with Pardubice Racecourse in the Czech Republic, home to the famous steeplechase the Velka Pardubicka. It also assists racecourse operations throughout the Far East.

John Sanderson, chief executive of IRM, said: "We are delighted to be working with the Hanoi Tourist Corporation who have been extremely proactive throughout the discussions.

"Both the city of Hanoi and the Vietnamese government are keen for the first new racecourse development in Vietnam to be in Hanoi. We are confident that this project will be financially successful, as well as providing a popular recreation and sporting amenity for the people of the Hanoi region, not only involving horseracing but in other sporting and leisure activities."

The construction of the new Hanoi racecourse coincides with the build-up towards the 1,000th anniversary in 2010 of the founding of the City of Hanoi, established in 1010 as Thang Long, or the "Ascending Dragon."



Business matters: changing faces

Published: 19/12/2004 (Sport)

THE Sanderson family will soon be back in full harness at Wetherby racecourse.
James Sanderson, elder son of chairman John, is to become chief executive next month, when Tim Betteridge joins the Tote as racecourse pool-betting commercial director.
Betteridge has been at Wetherby since May 2002, when James Sanderson vacated the role of general manager to oversee the management of a new track at Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
Sanderson, 36, rejoined International Racecourse Management, where father John is chief executive, in January this year, taking up a new post as director of operations. James has since also replaced John Gundill as Redcar's general manager.
APPRENTICE Steve Parsons has left Marcus Tregoning's yard to join Stan Moore.
BETFAIR legal eagle David O'Reilly is the new temporary general secretary of the Betting Exchange Trade Association, following Andrew Silverman's departure from the same company.



Date: Thursday, 24 February 2005

James Sanderson has been elected by the small independent racecourses onto the RCA Board to fill a vacancy left by Tim Betteridge following his departure to join the Totepool as Commercial Director.

James’ election follows a family tradition; his father John Sanderson has been on the RCA Board for a quarter of a century.

James has recently returned to Wetherby Racecourse to take up the role of Chief Executive, having previously been General Manager at the course from January 1999 to March 2002. He is also Director of Operations for International Racecourse Management Ltd and Clerk of the Course at Redcar.

In between his Wetherby Racecourse appointments James was seconded to the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Club as the Racing Manager at King Abdul Aziz Racecourse & Equestrian Centre, in Riyadh.

Commenting on the appointment, RCA Chairman David Thorpe said: “I am delighted that James is joining the Board. We are fortunate that racecourses have such a great pool of talented and experienced professionals like James to build a strong board in order to grow the quality of British racing. I look forward to working with him”.

James Sanderson said: “The RCA has a major role to play in the future of racing and I am delighted to have been elected to the Board to work towards securing the best outcome for racecourses.”

Sanderson extends reach to help new Russian track

Published: 05/08/2005 (Sport) Howard Wright

JOHN SANDERSON, whose International Racecourse Management service covers Saudi Arabia and Vietnam, as well as closer-to-home venues such as Catterick and Wetherby, is extending his reach to Russia, writes Howard Wright. Sanderson is putting together a management team to run a new £28 million racecourse due to open later this month in Kazan, capital city of the republic of Tatarstan, 720km due east of Moscow.
Work on the nine-furlong oval track and grandstands to accommodate up to 30,000 racegoers began only six months ago, and 2,000 people are working 24 hours a day so that the project can be opened by Russia's president Vladimir Putin on August 27.
Sanderson said: ``There's a big incentive to be ready, because this is the millennium of the founding of Kazan, and there's a lot going on in the city, of which building the racecourse is the biggest development.''
Kazan's existing racecourse, one of 11 in Tatarstan, will be replaced by the new facility, which will operate three tracks for Flat racing, trotting and 480 horses in training.
The project has the full support of the republic's government and is the brainchild of businessman Rashit Shaikhoutdinov, 47, a deputy in the state council who has horses in training with Paul Cole under the name of his company, the Siv Corporation, including Newbury Spring Cup winner Fine Silver.
Cole introduced Sanderson to Shaikhoutdinov three months ago, following a recommendation from Weatherbys' Nick Cheyne.
Sanderson said: ``This will be one of the serious miracles of construction when it opens, but I'm confident it will be finished in time.''
The opening meeting will be staged largely using local officials, and there is no formal programme laid down for the rest of this year, but Sanderson is working on this and a fixture list for 2006, to include at least one summer international fixture, as well sourcing a chief executive, Flat racing manager and commercial manager from Britain.
The French PMU will be responsible for the betting facility

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