Full-time Pip making town’s racecourse rock

Racecourse manager Pip Kirby by the corporate boxes
Racecourse manager Pip Kirby by the corporate boxes

Pip Kirby says she is going back to her roots.

After jointly managing Market Rasen’s racecourse with Nottingham, Pip now has a greater focus on the course she considers home.

The Lincolnshire lass has spent 16 years at the course, the last eight where she also ran Nottingham.

Now, following restructuring at the Jockey Club she helped drive, the four courses in the Eastern Region will work closely together, giving Pip more regional work.

The changes come as Market Rasen Racecourse sees a new £800,000 extension due for completion in early December.

“We have more exciting plans for next year and moving forward. Hopefully, we will roll them out in early 2015,” she said.

Pip says she cannot say what they are yet, but they build on from the introduction of the Rasen Rocks music events and the successful Journal Ladies Day.

“We are looking to try and make things bigger and even better,” she said.

Pip is busily working on this Saturday’s Harvest Festival Food & Drink Race Day, the Boxing Day races and the racing programme for 2015.

There will be more Rasen Rocks next year, though it is too soon to say who will perform. This year, Wet Wet Wet and James Arthur helped pull in the punters.

Pip says the racecourse increasingly sees itself having an important role in the community, due to the large number of visitors it brings to the area.

It will see how it can work with MR BIG, with Pip saying “I am in regular contact with MR BIG.”

Market Rasen Racecourse attracts 65,000 visitors a year, with some days having crowds topping 10,000, helped by Market Rasen being Lincolnshire’s only racecourse.

It has family enclosures, right up to corporate boxes.

“Attendances are up. There are signs things are picking up,” she said.

Added to this, are non-raceday events like agricultural sales, Caravan Club meets and car boot sales.

Even when not working, Pip says she still enjoys visiting racecourses. But amid it all, Pip still finds time for husband Fred and daughter Lily, who has just started Osgodby School. She also enjoys cooking, has discovered the pleasures of baking bread, and she loves skiing.