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BHA graduate Bissett lands marketing role

04 October 2011

BRITISH racing's best job club, the BHA graduate programme, has gained a double first through the efforts of trainer Richard Phillips and enthusiasm of Glasgow University honours and Heriot-Watt University masters degree student Catriona Bissett.

Phillips became the first trainer to support the scheme in its 20-year history, and after Bissett's eight-week placement he has turned her temporary assignment into a permanent job, principally to help with the stable's marketing strategy.

Phillips said: "The experts tell you that the time to concentrate on marketing is in a recession because that's when other people give up on it. So we're giving it a good try.

"Catch came up with a marketing plan during her placement andwith the help of our yard sponsors Martin and Sue Harvey we're giving her the opportunity to put it into effect.

"We've been good at marketing in the past, but it's generally been through me. Now we're going to widen the scopeand, since Catch has a masters degree in business psychology, we'll learn from the business world."

Phillips' sponsors, whose company TORI operates a global business advisory service, supported Bissett's placement and will useher experience to promote their involvement with the Adlestrop yard.

Phillips said: "I couldn't have taken on Catch without their support, but she's done very well and we'll see where she
takes us during the jumps season. I'm pleased to see the BHA scheme working for a trainer."

BHA training, welfare and community associate Sam Martin said: "I'm thrilled how Catch's placement has worked out for Richard, who took such a leap of faith in being the first trainer to support the programme. We couldn't have asked for a better outcome."

Martin took charge of 21 graduates on this summer's record intake and reported that, as well as Bissett, a dozen are working in the racing or betting industries.

Martin herself has retained the services of Luke Schembri, while Ross Hamilton has had his contract extended at the BHA and Kit Arkwright is continuing to work for British Champions Series until thebig day at Ascot.

Also staying with their placement providers are Joe Szekeres at Timeform, Ashton Carruthers at the Tote and Tom Braggins at Weatherbys.

York and Newbury racecourses have claimed Charlotte Cundall and Patrick Halkett respectively, while Colm Sharkey is working for BBA Ireland and Harry Walter is marketing assistant at Blue Square.

Amy Clapham, who completed a stint at Tattersalls, has gained two further placements, thanks to a joint effort by the BHA and the Thoroughbred Breeders Association's Next Generation committee.

She is working at Tweenhills and Newsells Park studs during the yearling sales.

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