Blog – 19th January

Welcome to the fourth blog from the team at Pontefract Racecourse.

Every fortnight, someone from the team will share their thoughts for your entertainment (or otherwise!):

  • Managing Director, Norman Gundill with his trusty PA, Caroline who also looks after the hospitality, and is writing todays blog,
  • Accounts Manager, Nicola,
  • Admin manager, Carol,
  • Marketing exec, Alexia, and,
  • Chief Operating Officer, Richard.

Caroline’s first blog – 19th January 2023

Hi, I’m Caroline. I was born and raised in Castleford and moved to Normanton (where we still live) with my husband, Duncan, in 1998. Our son, Joshua, came along the following year.

I have worked at Pontefract Racecourse since February 2015. I work on reception, assist Mr Gundill with all his administration work as well as dealing with Private Hospitality bookings – you might say that I’m a bit of a jack of all trades really!

I was a very late starter to horseracing – other than watching the Grand National each year.  My first experience of a day out at the races was on a Sunday in July 2009 here at good old Ponte!!! We had been invited to attend a meeting (which included a memorial race for my late uncle) in the Private Hospitality boxes and had a fabulous family day out!

Well, from that point on, I was hooked and horseracing became a hobby of mine. Thankfully my dad also had an interest so I would often take him along to the races too. I then went on to organise our annual family day out at Ponte, usually at the June Sunday meeting, and we came for the next few years. I would arrive as early as possible to make the most of the day, and I never wanted to leave. I remember thinking to myself I’d love to work here…. it would be my dream job! So, when the opportunity arose, I went for it.

When I first started I worked solely for Mr Gundill but after a few years I was asked if I would like to get involved with the hospitality side of the business. I jumped at the chance because I knew what a fabulous day out it was for people. I hope that I could add my experience and make our customer’s day just that little bit more special. And I would like to think that that is what I have done.

On racedays you will find me initially in the Dalby Stand reception area, but after that, it’s all hands to the deck so I could end up anywhere doing any job.

I think most people think we have six months off after our last race in October but there is certainly a lot more to working at a racecourse than just the 16 meetings we have each year. I love my job (and the location), I work with some wonderful people and I’m looking forward to the start of the 2023 racing season – especially if I get to see my hero, Paul Hanagan, a bit more!

See you in a couple of weeks with another post!