Grounds-person and fence builder, Craig Jones, is celebrating 40 years at Chepstow Racecourse today! He started working at the track on April 22nd 1981 as a builder’s labourer and helped plasterer the Persian War Bar which many owners and trainers will remember.
The course manager at the time was Roger Farrant and the clerk of the course was John Hughes. After seven years, Craig joined the ground staff and started building and repairing fences/hurdles with Alan Quinton. When he first arrived at the racecourse it was owned by George Francis (related to the Clay family). All three of Craig’s sons – Grant, Aaron and Curtis – have worked at the racecourse.
He worked alongside the late highly respected Head Groundsman Robert Mottram for many years. He’s seen racing called off because of Foot and Mouth disease and more recently Covid19. He’s built jumps for a number of local trainers. The first Coral Welsh Grand National winner he saw was Peaty Sandy in 1981. Some of the best chasers in modern times have jumped over Craig’s fences including Carvill’s Hill, Bonanza Boy, Silver Birch, Cue Card and Native River. Thanks for all your hard work Craig.