Welcome aboard Hazel!
After a couple of weeks settling in, we are delighted to officially announce the appointment of our new Chief Executive, Hazel Peplinski. This is the first time in our 400 year history we have had a Chief Executive and Hazel has wasted no time in getting her teeth firmly into the role!
Hailing from a horseracing background – her father John Dudgeon was a permit-holder trainer and her brother Sandy a successful amateur jockey – Hazel has built an enviable reputation in Scottish racing holding positions that include Chief Executive, Director, Racing Manager and Clerk of the Course at Hamilton Park, as well as further Clerking roles at both Kelso and Ayr racecourse. Earlier in her career Hazel was a Public Relations Officer for the Racecourse Association (RCA) and obtained Event Management experience in the golf and tennis arenas.
The decision to appoint a Chief Executive rather a new General Manager reflects just how far Perth Racecourse has come in the last ten years. In what has been a difficult time for the industry we have consistently bucked trends to show a solid increase in both visitor numbers and fixtures. With annual turnover now in excess of £2.5million it seemed like an opportune time to raise the bar!
Here’s what Hazel has to say after her first two weeks!
“I was hugely honoured to be approached by the committee and have grabbed this unique opportunity with both hands. Having been brought up in a large National Hunt racing family, I do feel as though I’m coming home and will be proud to welcome life-long industry friends and business contacts to Perth Racecourse.
Leading this amazing, well-established racecourse team into a new era and providing them with strong direction and the vision to maximise the full potential of our excellent location and newly improved facilities is a challenge I relish.
The team here were well underway with planning for the 2016 season and so I have simply immersed myself into learning how Perth Racecourse operates. Indeed, much of my first season shall be spent watching and listening as I believe the key to defining our future strategy is to first and foremost fully understand the business, ensuring we make full use of the excellent skills and experience we already have.
I am grateful for the warm welcome I have been shown by everyone and I am finding the racecourse is held in high-esteem by the local business community, which is extremely heartening. Coupled with strong attendances and such tremendous goodwill within the industry, the platform for growth is most certainly here.
I know that starting the season with the Three Day Perth Festival in April quickly followed by Ladies Day and the Perth Gold Cup Day will keep me extremely busy and with the opening of our new hostel facility and the much-heralded new stable complex, it’s looking like a hectic baptism in my first year! The legacy Sam Morshead has left after his long tenure is incredible.
2016 is turning into a big year for me personally and could well be a landmark year in the history of Perth racecourse. I have been presented with a wonderful opportunity and I intend to keep my hands firmly on these reins as I take the racecourse forward for the benefit of all.”