Macfarlane wins Racecourse Manager of the Year
The 2019 winner of the Racecourse Manager of the Year is Ken Macfarlane, which was presented by the Chairman of the Racecourse Manager's Association, Alan Chapman.
Born in 1953 he was not from a racing family but began working in stables from age 15 and worked in various stables in New Zealand and Australia including stints with some well-known trainers.
The need to earn more income soon took over and a variety of employment was undertaken, including driving buses and taxis, and he can tell you many good stories from on the buses.
He held a trainers licence for two seasons, starting horses 20 times, and has always been active in promoting a few syndicates for his mates at the pub.
Ken’s race track experience started with a number of part-time jobs around the track before becoming assistant to the caretaker for 12 months and then being appointed caretaker, a position now known as Track Manager.
While a Track Manager is responsible for the maintenance of the whole racecourse, it could be said that a club would be nothing without a good racing surface and to achieve this, a quality Track Manager is essential. Track Manager is a position where everybody thinks they know what is wrong with the track and what needs done to fix it and will tell the Track Manager, often many times over. Many expect the Track Manager to cater for their own individual requests and the Track Manager is no good if he doesn’t. Ken has handled all these challenges in his stride.
Coming into his 12th winter at Forbury Park he has overseen changes to the track surface, many paid and unpaid hours spent on the care and attention he has lavished on the track. As well many hours have and will be spent worrying about whether he has done things right, or is there an area of the track that he’s not happy about and perhaps should be repaired. He lives, sleeps and has dreams and nightmares about his track but it is doubtful if he will ever produce, in his opinion, the perfect track because there is always something that he is not completely happy with and that is why he is such a top Track Manager.