Friday 24 March

From Work Experience to Head Groundsman


As Thirsk prepare to launch their 2023 season on April 4, Dave Raisbeck will mark twenty years amongst the grounds team at Thirsk and will start the season Head Groundsman after a recent promotion.

Starting with work experience, Dave has assisted long-standing Head Groundsman Steve Kelsey who is also now in his 42nd year as part of the grounds team at Thirsk. Steve who is now assisting Dave, can focus on tending to the area of the job he loves the most, cutting his beloved track. The stunning racetrack will shortly welcome runners for the first race meeting and will see well over a thousand horses race in the coming months from April to September.

The life of a groundsman isn’t always as simple as cutting the grass, the team of five at Thirsk work tirelessly to ensure the buildings, restaurants and trademark lawns are maintained all year round as Thirsk Racecourse hosts many outdoor events amongst dinners and weddings.

Dave’s recent promotion is timely as the racing industry celebrates #GroundsWeek, an interactive campaign run by the Grounds Management Association (GMA) to celebrate the impact of grounds care on sport and green spaces.

This week we are celebrating the hardwork and dedication of the team at Thirsk and all those around the country who make our industry, proud to be a part of.

Erin Boswell, General Commercial Manager, said: “Groundsmen don’t often get the praise and gratitude they deserve and this week is all about celebrating just that. We’re very proud to have such long serving members of staff here at Thirsk and Dave’s recent promotion is down to not only hard work and dedication, but down to being trained and led by such a well-rounded peer in Steve”

About #GroundsWeek

#GroundsWeek is an interactive campaign run by the Grounds Management Association (GMA) and is built on the involvement of the groundscare community – with support from the community and our sponsors, which are listed below, we will be putting our sector in the spotlight once again and celebrating the impact of groundscare on sport and green spaces.

In 2023 the week runs from Monday 20th March—Sunday 26th March. Throughout the week the RCA is exploring the art of racecourse grounds management, highlighting examples from across the sport and sharing case studies of industry personnel.