New Managing Director of racecourse: Rupert Trevelyan has been appointed to the Conservators, to replace Nick Blofeld, as the new managing director of the racecourse. Rupert has an events management background, rather than racing: something of a novelty for the racecourse, suggesting a shift of focus for the future.
Training Grounds Management Board met on 21 September. Reconsidered the use of the hatched area, and found that conditions did not permit it to be opened to public use. No surprise there. 170 horses now using training areas, enabling TGMB to pay off outstanding debts, primarily the Mac Track investment (the one at the bottom of Six Mile Hill).
Dog control: all Surrey authorities are trying to take a co-ordinated and uniform approach. New controls may emerge at a later date. Agreed that publicity for the downs needs to focus on control of dogs in vicinity of horses.
Friends of Epsom and Walton Downs: a group of volunteers is being established. The first meeting will be on Saturday 7 November at 1300, at the Rosebery Road entrance to the Downs, and is likely to include opening up one of the overgrown bridleways. There will also be an Epsom and Walton Downs newsletter, a draft of which was circulated.
Tractors: the downskeepers are to receive two new tractors on lease. Apparently, no funds have been set aside to replace the ageing existing vehicles, so a lease was the only option.
Cycling byelaw: a byelaw was approved by the conservators, which will make it an offence to cycle on the downs except on ‘designated routes’. However, the byelaw will now go to the consultative committee for consideration, and will need to be confirmed by the Secretary of State.
Event management strategy: the strategy categorises events by their expected impact, and sets nominal thresholds for events in each category. There will be a cycle of applications culminating in the Conservators’ meetings in April and October, which will decide whether to grant or refuse them.
Downs information leaflets: a raft of these have been prepared, targeted at different users, including the hack riders’ leaflet (which has been years in gestation). So many comments had been generated that it was decided to defer consideration to a later meeting, with a new deadline for comment of end-December.
Hack sand track: the agenda suggested “discussions between Borough Council officers and the secretary of the TGMB are underway with regard to resolving the uncertainty over responsibility for maintenance of the sand track”. However, Andrew Cooper, TGMB secretary, said it was nothing to do with him, and business moved briskly on to the next item.