RACING AHEAD: NEWBURY RACECOURSE LAUNCH NEW INITIATIVE TO HOST UK’S FIRST ON-COURSE FEMALE RACE CALLER
The West Berkshire racecourse has announced an ongoing commitment to support aspiring female commentators as part of its progressive Ladies Day
April 21 2022: Newbury Racecourse has today announced a new partnership with broadcaster Dani Jackson, who will become its official live on-course commentator for all their charity races across 2022, in a brand-new initiative to champion female race callers. The initiative will launch with the Injured Jockeys Fund Charity Race, in celebration of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, at the Al Shaqab Lockinge with Ladies Day on Saturday 14th May, 2022.
Dani becomes the inaugural participant in ‘Odds Against: Newbury’s Female Commentator Programme’ to provide a pathway for progression for aspiring female race callers to gain valuable live raceday experience.
With football, rugby and cricket having all integrated female voices into their live commentary over the past few years, horse racing is not short of female broadcasters and presenters but is yet to hear a female race caller on a regular basis. Newbury is looking to lead the charge, breaking barriers within the sport and welcoming a new face to the commentary box.
With UK racecourses not hearing a female commentator on track in over a decade, all ears will be pricked as Jackson takes the mic for the opening race at 12.15pm in front of a bumper Saturday crowd. Dani Jackson’s has guest commentated over in Turf Paradise in the US and initially started commentating on greyhound racing ten years ago before looking to transfer to horseracing.
Jackson was recently part of RaceTech’s latest recruitment drive for new commentators, a highly competitive process where she was one of six aspiring race callers selected for the final stage from 29 initial applicants.
Speaking on the partnership, Dani Jackson said: “I’m very excited and honoured to be involved with this new initiative and be named the first female commentator as part of Newbury’s brand-new programme to help build a pathway for more female voices into horse racing commentary.”
“Commentating has been a passion of mine for several years, but this programme is providing a more regular platform for live raceday experience that I’ve not had and I’m looking forward to debuting my first live UK call at such a prestigious track in May.”
Harriet Collins, Marcomms Director at Newbury Racecourse said: “We have all watched with great admiration as the likes of jockey’s Rachael Blackmore and Hollie Doyle continuously perform at the top of the sport and we really wanted to look at the ways we could also be a positive influence for change and progression in the sport.
“Female race commentators have not been heard in British racing in any significant capacity and we’re really excited to welcome Dani to the commentary box for the four charity races we host this year at the racecourse and hope this new initiative provides some live experience for Dani, and in time we hear female race callers on a more regular basis.”
Richard Hoiles, ITV commentator said: “This is a great opportunity for Dani to get some valuable on course experience in front of a crowd to help progress her skills. The key for all aspiring commentators is to practice, practice, practice and being able to implement this in a live environment via the use of Charity Races is an excellent initiative.’
Lockinge Day which also features Newbury’s Ladies Day will bring plenty of action for racegoers to enjoy away from the track, with Newbury assembling a panel of female change makers, all recognised for making waves in their respective sports. Each will speak publicly about their own personal journey in sport as part of the aptly named ‘Panel of Pioneers’.
Speakers will include top flat jockey Hollie Doyle, who has emerged as one of the sport’s biggest talents, alongside Manchester United Captain and England Lioness Katie Zelem who will be looking ahead to the Women’s European Championships in the UK this summer.
Also joining Hollie and Katie on the panel will be newly crowned Olympic Champion Curler Eve Muirhead, who led her team to Gold in Beijing earlier this year.
The four charity races at Newbury Racecourse in which Dani Jackson will be commentating include:
To purchase tickets for Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes Day, customers can visit www.newburyracecourse.co.uk