Uttoxeter racecourse has appointed Eloise Quayle as its first ever female Clerk of the Course.
She will take up the key position on 1 January after transferring from Royal Windsor.
Eloise steps into shoes which have been filled at the Staffordshire track for the last nine years by Charlie Moore who has been promoted to a new central role within the Arena Racing Company (ARC) which runs Uttoxeter and 15 other courses across the UK.
Charlie has been a mentor to Eloise who became the youngest Clerk of the Course in Great Britain when she took up her post aged just 25 at Windsor last May.
The appointment of Eloise is particularly encouraging for other women looking to forge a career in what is still a male dominated sport.
A report commissioned by Women in Racing in the summer of 2017 found women are under-represented in the most prominent areas of British horse racing.
She is breaking down barriers in the way Alex Greaves (first female jockey to ride in the Derby) and Jennie Pitman (first woman to train a Grand National winner) have done.
David MacDonald, Executive Director at Uttoxeter Racecourse, said: “Eloise will be a fantastic addition to the senior team here and we’re very much looking forward to having her on board from next month.
“We will, of course, miss Charlie who has been a pivotal part of the racecourse for nine years, and the driving force behind the development of our race programme, particularly over the summer.”
Eloise comes to Uttoxeter with a wealth of experience in National Hunt racing having previously worked as Travelling Head Person and Pupil Assistant to Ben Pauling in Bourton-on-the-Water.
She joined ARC as a trainee in 2017 and served as Clerk of the Course at Royal Windsor for the 2018 season during which the racecourse was runner-up in the Flat Racecourse of the Year category at the RCA Groundstaff Awards.
Eloise said: “I am really excited about the opportunity to move to Uttoxeter. It is a fantastic racecourse with an excellent race programme and really enthusiastic team. The Midlands Grand National is an obvious highlight along with plenty of top-class summer jump meetings which I’m really looking forward to getting involved in.”
For Charlie, who celebrates 30 years as a Clerk of the Course in 2019, his promotion marks the end of an enjoyable era at Uttoxeter but the chance to tackle some new challenges.
In his new post, Charlie will be the group’s only Regional Clerk of the Course and his duties will include offering assistance and guidance to the Clerks across ARC’s 16 racecourses as well as taking a lead in the training and development of trainees.
He said: “I will be very sorry to leave Uttoxeter. I have enjoyed nine great years with a fantastic racecourse team. I am, however, thrilled to be taking on this new role and am very much looking forward to the challenge, particularly with the wide variety of racecourses in the ARC group.”
ARC Racing Director Jon Pullin said: “We are delighted to appoint Eloise to the role of Clerk of the Course at Uttoxeter. During her time with ARC, she has done an excellent job, with a fantastic first season at Windsor this year. She has big shoes to fill in taking over from Charlie, but in his role at Regional Clerk across the group, he will be on hand to offer assistance and guidance, as he will with all of our other Clerks.”