International Women's Day: Celebrating Sue Lucas's historic role at Market Rasen Racecourse

As the world marks International Women's Day, Market Rasen Racecourse proudly celebrates Sue Lucas, one of the few female chairs in racing.
Sue Lucas, chairman of Market Rasen Racecourse. Image: The Jockey ClubSue Lucas, chairman of Market Rasen Racecourse. Image: The Jockey Club
Sue Lucas, chairman of Market Rasen Racecourse. Image: The Jockey Club

At the helm since January 2023, Sue Lucas represents a significant milestone in the course's history, aligning with its centenary celebrations and showcasing the enduring legacy of the Lucas family in the racing world.

As racing at the Willingham Road site embarks on its second century, Sue Lucas stands as a symbol of strength, integrity, and progress. Her leadership exemplifies the spirit of International Women's Day and the transformative power of women in shaping the future of racing.

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Sue said: "It's a huge honour to steward Market Rasen Racecourse, a venue steeped in my family's heritage. As we celebrate its centenary and look to the future, I am grateful for the opportunity to continue my family's legacy and contribute to the course's rich history.”

Born and raised in Lincolnshire, her familial ties to Market Rasen span five generations, dating back to the 1870s. Her family's unwavering dedication to the racecourse has left an indelible mark on its development and success over the past century.

It began with Thomas Nettleship in the 1870s who initiated the family connection with Market Rasen, followed by his son, James Henry Nettleship, who was in part responsible for the purchase of land at Willingham Road, where the racecourse has stood for the past 100 years.

However, it was James Henry’s son-in-law, Victor Lucas – Sue Lucas’s husband’s grandfather – who was most influential in shaping the course as it is known today. Victor was responsible for the running of the course from 1945 until his death in 1971 and oversaw several changes to the venue’s facilities which remain in place to this day. The following generation saw Sue’s mother-in-law Jean Lucas create her own impact on the racecourse. The late Mrs Lucas was responsible for publishing the book “Market Rasen Races” which provides invaluable historic information to the Market Rasen Community and

keeps the ties to the past relevant.

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Sue added: “My vision is for Market Rasen to be not only a symbol of tradition but also a beacon of progress, offering a platform for women to shine and fostering an inclusive environment where every individual, regardless of gender, has equal opportunities to thrive in the dynamic sport of horse racing."

Reflecting on her seven years as a member of the racecourse committee prior to being appointed Chairwoman in January 2023, she emphasises the importance of Market Rasen to the local community and beyond. Sue envisions a racecourse that not only celebrates its rich history but also serves as a catalyst for positive change, empowering women in racing and inspiring the next generation of enthusiasts.

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