New clerk of course named at Goodwood

Ed Arkell and the man he will succeed, Seamus Buckley
Ed Arkell and the man he will succeed, Seamus Buckley

Goodwood racecourse has named Edward Arkell as its new Clerk of the Course, taking over from long-standing clerk Seamus Buckley, who retires from his position at the end of the 2017 season.

Arkell and Buckley will work together as joint Clerks through the Qatar Goodwood Festival and the remaining fixtures this year.

Arkell joins Goodwood from a talented group of clerks at Arena Racing Company (ARC), where he was regional clerk of the course (south) looking after five courses including Fontwell Park, Lingfield Park and Royal Windsor. He was also responsible for the race programme for the successful All-Weather Championships, as well as other projects and representing ARC on various industry committees.

Originally from Gloucestershire, but now living in Upwaltham, West Sussex, Arkell graduated from the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester before joining trainer John Dunlop at Arundel as pupil assistant. After two years at Arundel he moved to Sedgefield racecourse in 2006 as trainee clerk of the course, before moving to Hereford and then Fontwell in 2008.

Arkell said: “I’m delighted to be joining Goodwood racecourse as Clerk of the Course, one of the best jobs in racing. I’m very much looking forward to the challenge of producing an exceptional racing surface and continuing to develop the race programme to attract the best horses in the world. Goodwood is a truly special place with fantastic racing and heritage.”

Buckley, who will be clerk for his 23rd ‘Glorious Goodwood’ Qatar Goodwood Festival from August 1 to 5, will be a tough act to follow, as the Irishman has been a respected figure in racing throughout his career. But Arkell can at least be sure he starts his new role with Buckley’s blessing.

“I am really delighted that Ed Arkell is taking over from me as Clerk of the Course here at Goodwood. I have known him a long time and he has, for the last 10 years, kindly assisted me over the Qatar Goodwood Festival and his help has been invaluable. Ed is a very forward and modern thinking person, yet still holds the very important old fashioned values, for example, where the horse always comes first,” said Buckley.

“I wish him all the best of luck and hope he enjoys Goodwood as much as I have.”

Alex Eade, General Manager for Goodwood racecourse, said; “We had a lot of interest in the role and Ed emerged as the strongest candidate from a really excellent cohort. As many people know, Seamus has been an exceptional Clerk for 23 seasons and it was important that we found a replacement who shared his passion for racing and obsession for perfection. Ed’s wide ranging experience with ARC means he is extremely well qualified and having assisted us during our flagship meeting, he also brings a detailed knowledge of our course.”