Thirty-five thousand feet above the Atlantic Ocean is not where most racing fans would want to be on Breeders’ Cup Day. But for Beth Alexander, Manager of The Jockey Club’s Data Management Department, it was an opportunity too good to pass up, for she had been chosen by executives at The Jockey Club to participate in an international exchange program with British counterpart, Weatherbys.
The following day, Lorna Switzer, Head of Development for Weatherbys Information Technology Services, embarked upon a similar trans-Atlantic assignment to The Jockey Club.
According to Carl Hamilton, Chairman and CEO of The Jockey Club Information Systems, Inc. (TJCIS), the three-week exchange is designed to familiarize a manager from each organization with the other’s operations and methods so they can apply what they learn to improve business processes back home.
“Weatherbys and The Jockey Club perform many similar functions in the Thoroughbred industry which makes this unique international exchange program an effective means of further developing our talent,” said Carl Hamilton, Chairman and CEO of The Jockey Club Information Systems, Inc. (TJCIS). “Exposure to each other’s methods and best practices can ultimately help both organizations serve our breeders and other constituents most effectively.”
Much of Alexander’s time is being spent with Weatherbys’ personnel in the Stud Book and Eclipse Pedigrees (the cataloguing department of Weatherbys), with whom she’s reviewing international data collection methods. Supplementing her office education are field visits to Tattersalls Sales, National Stud, Darley Stud and the races at Newmarket (flat) and Huntingdon (jump).
Meanwhile, Switzer is spending considerable time with personnel from both The Jockey Club Technology Services, Inc., which provides infrastructure support services for The Jockey Club family of companies and the Thoroughbred industry, and TJCIS, a diversified provider of information services for industry professionals. She’ll also spend an afternoon with Equibase chartcallers at Churchill Downs observing data collection procedures and will attend the opening session of the Keeneland November sale.
Both women are staying with employees’ families during their visits.
As Manager of The Jockey Club’s Data Management Department, Alexander oversees the collection of international pedigree and racing information for the corporate database, playing an integral role in its expansion. The Jockey Club’s international database includes race results from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
The Jockey Club-Weatherbys exchange program was inaugurated in 2001. The first participants were Kieron Bridge, Deputy Manager of Eclipse Pedigrees, and Janice Towles, The Jockey Club’s Manager of Registration Services.