Young Guns: Bobby Jackson

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Bobby Jackson | Tattersalls

After its popularity earlier this year, Young Guns returns with all new questions and young professionals. In the first edition we speak with Bobby Jackson, the Digital Marketing Executive at Tattersalls in Newmarket

TDN: Tell us about your career to date?

Bobby Jackson: I did the BHA Graduate Programme straight out of university in 2013 which was a great first step into the industry. I then had a variety of roles; working at Whitsbury Manor Stud, Salisbury Racecourse, the Licensing Department at the BHA, before spending two years at Great British Racing International. It was in September last year that I started at Tattersalls and I absolutely love it.

TDN: If you could be one person in the industry for a day who would it be and why?

BJ: There’s so many to choose from. If I was hard pressed then it would have to be Aidan O’Brien. I’d love to get a better understanding of how he operates and the processes behind the high-pressure decisions that he makes. I’d also be able to find out for definite who he’s on the phone to when he wins all the Group 1s.

TDN: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

BJ: Jeremy Martin, Chief Executive at Salisbury Racecourse, told me when I was working there to keep working hard and take whatever opportunities arise as you can never have too much experience. Simple advice, but it was particularly meaningful to me as it was then that I kept getting told ‘you’ve not got enough experience’ in job applications and questioned my future in the industry. I persevered, took the opportunities when they came and am delighted that I did.

TDN: What is the best aspect of your current job?

BJ: I love how varied my job is as it’s rare to have a five-day week in the office. One aspect I particularly enjoy is visiting a trainer’s yard to watch horses work. I’ve started doing trainer interviews when a Tattersalls graduate has either won a big race or is about to run in a big race for our digital platforms. From visiting Ian Williams to see Magic Circle (Ire) (Makfi {GB}) to a morning at William Haggas’s with Sea Of Class (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), not only is the resulting content fantastic for my work but it’s also a lovely way to spend a morning.

TDN: If you weren’t working in the horseracing industry what would you be doing?

BJ: I have a first class degree in economics so if I wasn’t in racing then I’d most likely have some sort of financial role in the city. I could be in the Premier League though, refereeing rather than playing. I’m a qualified football referee, which was my job during sixth form and university, but I decided I’d rather spend my Saturdays going racing than running around a football pitch.

TDN: If you had 24 hours to get someone interested in the horse racing industry how would you do it?

BJ: Simple: a morning on the gallops with a trainer followed by an afternoon at the Cheltenham Festival, rounded off with dinner in a cosy pub somewhere in the Cotswolds.

TDN: What was your biggest achievement in 2018?

BJ: Tattersalls sponsored the G3 Sovereign S. at Salisbury Racecourse in August, the richest race ever held at the track. Being the first race sponsorship that I organised in my role, it was a particularly proud moment. The date of the race worked perfectly with the release of the October Book 1 catalogue and it all couldn’t have gone much better. To do this at the racecourse that I grew up going to and spent a season working at made it even more rewarding.

TDN: Who was your horse of 2018 and why?

BJ: My horse of the year is Justify (Scat Daddy). Going against statistics is always commendable so for him to become the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby without running as a 2-year-old makes him a pretty special animal. To then go on and win the Triple Crown in such a dominant way marks him as one of the best ever and it’s a huge shame that we weren’t able to see him tackle older horses at the Breeders’ Cup. I definitely didn’t bet on him ante-post for the Derby.

TDN: What is your New Year’s resolution?

BJ: Eat more fruit. Boring, I know.

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