1 Hazel Peplinski

Perth Racecourse announce 2022 will be Hazel Peplinski’s final season as Chief Executive

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Today (Sun13 March 2022) Perth Racecourse has announced that Hazel Peplinski will step down as Chief Executive at the end of the 2022 season.

Peplinski, who had already been involved in various management roles within Scottish racing over three decades, took little persuading to join Perth in 2016 as its first ever Chief Executive. The 59-year-old has given the Perth executive committee a full year’s notice to provide plenty time to work out the optimal succession plan – a process in which she is directly involved. 

Perth’s Chairman John Gellatly said “Six years ago Hazel was appointed by my predecessor as Chairman, David Whitaker.  After his untimely death shortly after that, the Committee appointed me as Chairman so Hazel and I began to work together at the same time. Her appointment has been a great success for Perth Racecourse and continued a family connection through her late father, John Dudgeon, who was a stalwart of the Committee for many years. I personally shall miss her greatly as we do seem to think along the same lines with the interests of the course at the forefront. She will be very hard to replace and we all wish her well in her future activities.”

Hazel Peplinski commented: “I have been lucky to work at each of the Scottish tracks but my time at Perth has been the pinnacle.  Maybe geography is a factor but honestly the place has a heartbeat all of its own. I have enjoyed racing at Perth all my life so it has been a privilege to have led Perth’s dedicated team through everything that the last few years has thrown at us – and we are still here!  I’ve been extremely fortunate to have been involved in my sporting passions throughout my career and my other main passion is golf.  I am already involved on the Council at Murrayfield Golf Club which is one of a few projects I shall be looking forward to next year.  

“Initially I arrived at Perth to offer a safe pair of hands during a particularly tough spell for them. We had built up some strong momentum ahead of our 2020 season only for the pandemic to leave us with a seismic shock when we were sitting on record advance sales.  More recently I have been growing our staff from the bottom up and also nurturing some obvious talent within the more senior ranks to lay the foundations of a succession plan.

“My news has also stimulated the committee into some healthy debate about the wider governance structure of Perth as it is now the sole UK racecourse to remain as an unincorporated association.  The committee is carrying out due diligence to ensure that everything Perth racecourse has to offer, which is substantial, is optimally future proofed within the most appropriate entity.

“More immediately, and my entire focus for now, is the build up to Perth’s 2022 season which is already promising to deliver a strong rebound from everything that has happened in the last two years. The support of Owners and Trainers has never wavered with total runners up by some 20% last year. There seems to be a confidence in our overall offering between the racing surface and our equine facilities which is heartening and stands us in good stead. It certainly feels like exciting times ahead for Perth.”

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