JOCKEY CLUB NOTES
NEW STAFF EXCHANGE PROGRAM HELPING THE JOCKEY CLUB, WEATHERBYS
Foreign exchange programs are most closely associated with high schools and colleges but they can also be worthwhile in the business world and The Jockey Club and its British counterpart, Weatherbys, have just finished the first phase of a new, experimental exchange program designed to familiarize both companies with various registration- and catalogue-related practices on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Kieron Bridge, a 37-year-old deputy manager of Eclipse Pedigrees (the cataloguing department of Weatherbys), last Thursday completed a six-week stint in The Jockey Club's Lexington, Kentucky office.
"I learned an awful lot," he said. "I'll take some ideas back with me and hopefully I left a few behind. The two companies perform the same function and in many ways the methods they use -- to write a catalogue page or register a foal -- are identical."
Gary Carpenter, the executive director and executive vice president of The Jockey Club, said the idea for the exchange program between the two companies grew out of their ongoing collaboration at International Stud Book Committee meetings.
"Our organizations have a great deal of respect for one another and a lot in common and we thought this would be a way to deepen the relationship and expand our knowledge," he said. "Ultimately, this is a way to serve our breeders more effectively by the development of our talent and improvement of our processes."
Bridge spent time with various staff members from The Jockey Club's Registry, The Jockey Club Information Systems, Inc. and Equibase. He learned about import/export statistics and data management, visited a couple of breeding farms and even spent time with Equibase chart callers during the Keeneland spring meeting.
It was his first visit to the United States and he enjoyed the Lexington area immensely.
"It is similar to Newmarket but it's a lot bigger," he said. "Lexington is a nice part of the world to be in." (The only thing Bridge didn't quite understand during his visit was the recent uproar over rising gasoline prices. "We pay $4 a gallon at home!")
In the fall, Janice Towles, The Jockey Club's Manager of Registration Services, will spend approximately six weeks in the Weatherbys office in North Hamptonshire, England.
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