Fontwell’s new manager wants more big days of racing

Holly Glover, the new general manager at Fontwell Park  Picture by Kate Shemilt
Holly Glover, the new general manager at Fontwell Park Picture by Kate Shemilt

It wasn’t all that long ago that Holly Glover was temping at Hereford racecourse. Now she’s the boss at Fontwell Park.

It’s been an impressive rise through the Northern Racing ranks to the job of general manager at the popular West Sussex track – a role she is excited to take on.

Her first taste of the racecourse after being given the job of replavcing Phil Bell – who has been promoted to executive director (south-east) for the group – was among the 8,000 crowd on Boxing Day.

Now one of her aims is to bring more bumper crowds like that to Fontwell, starting with the Diamond Jubilee race day in June.

The 28-year-old joked: “I was amazed at the size of the crowd when I came on Boxing Day – now I want there to be that many people here every race day! Obviously that’s not going to happen, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t aim to make other feature meetings as big as that.”

Holly was at Hereford, near her family home, for three years looking after the commercial side of things before moving to Northern’s head office as group commercial manager.

Then she was made senior commercial manager at Chepstow - home of the Welsh National - for just under three years before moving up to become general manager of Bath racecourse a year ago.

“I had a wonderful 12 months there - it was Bath’s 200th anniversary. Suddenly I wasn’t just one responsible for one aspect of a racecourse but for everything. So when the opportunity came to move to the same role at Fontwell, it was too good to pass up.”

Holly had visited Fontwell before the 2010 opening of the Premier Grandstand and knows the continued success of the centrepiece building is a central theme of her new job.

“I want to continue the excellent work the team here have been doing in recent years. It’s a beautiful racecourse with superb facilities now and I aim to continue raising awareness of what we offer.

“Chatting to people about Fontwell, you get a sense of the warm place it has in their affections. We have 24 race meetings this year and many non-race day activiies planned and each is a chance to show off why people love it here.”

Holly, who is living in Chichester, hopes to work with Goodwood and other Sussex courses – not just Northern Racing’s other track in the county at Brighton – to improve the quality of racing available to local race-goers. She is already looking forward to the next big meeting – All About The Horse race day, including the National Spirit Hurdle – on Sunday, February 26.