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19 December 2019

Tallulah Lewis works on the UK Tote Group’s International Business Development and is also Chair of Women in Racing, a role she is proud to hold

Keen to explore all avenues of the sport

Horseracing fascinated me from an early age, so it was always the career I was going to choose. This started with studying Equine Breeding and Stud Management at Writtle University and then being fortunate enough to get a place on the BHA Graduate Development Programme.

The racing industry really interests me, which is why I have tried to work across different sectors including the media, bloodstock and administration. I hadn’t worked in the betting sector previously, so when I heard that an industry-backed organisation was buying the Tote I jumped at the chance to get involved. I currently work for UK Tote Group managing International Business Development and it is a fascinating business to be part of, given its intrinsic and important links to racing.  

Hitting the ground running

We have tried to hit the ground running since we completed our acquisition of the Tote in October. Within weeks we had launched a new Tote brand and brought back the popular bet, Tote Ten to Follow, which saw over 63,000 stables created. We hope this will generate more racing fans during this exciting National Hunt season.

We have started to roll out the new brand across racecourses and are working full-steam on developing a new website, which will be live early next year. I have recently visited Hong Kong as we continue to build the Tote’s international relationships.

It’s great to be working with everyone in racing and while 2019 has been a busy year we are all very excited by the progress we can continue to make in 2020 and beyond.

An organisation going places

Women in Racing was founded over 10 years ago with the core aim of supporting women working across all sectors of the racing industry. Shining a spotlight on the issues faced by women in the sport has been key, so too encouraging the appointment of women to senior positions.

I joined the organisation as a member and was hooked straight away by its positive impact and ambition. The benefits that members have access to are brilliant; from networking events, a unique and free Mentoring Programme and access to a Bursary Fund, which are not otherwise readily available in our industry. I was then nominated to the committee and this year took on the role of Chair which is a role I am immensely honoured to hold.

The organisation has done so much for me as a member and it is great to be able to give back and do the same for our current and future members. We currently have a membership of over 270 and 40 mentoring partnerships in place; we have supported members with bursaries towards varied skills, including HGV licences, research and CPD courses.

We have carried out some impactful work over the last few years, such as the research we funded with the Racing Foundation, which led to the publication of the ‘Women’s representation and diversity in the horseracing industry’ report. This in turn underpinned the creation of the Diversity in Racing Steering Group.

We have also support Vanessa Cashmore as she undertakes her PhD looking a female jockey performance and we have just launched the Racing Home project – this project will explore what it feels like to decide to be a working mother in the horseracing industry; understand the decision- making that takes place and allow discussion on the impact of returning to work after maternity leave. It is an exciting project supported by the industry and we hope that the work we do on it will allow the industry to understand this issue and make changes that will benefit everyone.

Something to offer everyone

Horseracing is so uniquely positioned to be a ‘force for good’. We are a sport that sits at the heart of many communities across the country and offers careers that are widely accessible to people of all ages, demographics and backgrounds. I really do believe we have something to offer everyone, whether you would like a diverse and interesting career or as a customer and racing fan. There is so much great work that takes place, including the projects supported by the Racing Foundation; the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards and the RCA Showcase & Awards, which celebrate employees working across racecourses.  The work which Careers in Racing, Racing to School and Great British Racing do enable people at all ages to get involved with racing, which is so valuable to the sport. I believe we stand apart from other sports in the work that we do and how we stand as a community, not simply a sport.

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