Sunday 14 August 2016

Dennis First Past the Post at Newmarket

Article - Dennis-First-Past-the-Post-at-Newmarket.

There are few lovers of equestrian sport who don’t know at least a little about Newmarket Racecourses. 2016 is a year of celebration for the town as it marks 350 years of making significant history in both the sport of racing as well as English heritage. King Charles II returned to Newmarket for the first time since infancy in 1666 following restoration to the throne and spearheaded the development of the town, Racecourses and industry into what is affectionately known as the global Home of Horseracing.

With no less than 39 meetings per year, racing takes place at both the Rowley Mile Racecourse during the spring and autumn and the Adnams July Course during the summer. The Rowley Mile also plays host to the conference and events side of the business which means this site is utilised all year round.

Alan Hatherley (Estates Manager) and Gregg Nichol (Groundsman) are two of twelve members of staff who are tasked with maintaining the facilities at one of the most famous racecourses in the world.

“We have eight full-time groundstaff and four full-time gardeners. The groundstaff look after the historic 27 hectares of racing surface as well as other grass areas, whether it be the car parks, the lawns or fine turf areas and the gardeners concentrate on the flowers, trees and other landscape areas.

“This same team look after the two sites and managing the upkeep of both of them is where the main challenge is. Therefore it is essential that we have the correct equipment at our disposal. I looked at the Dennis machines because they are British made, reliable, simple to use and they give a great cut. Presentation is what we are all about here. If you’ve got 6,000 people turning up to watch on a Wednesday afternoon or 22,000 here on a Friday night there are a lot of eyes on your work. Plus you’ve got TV coverage as well which is broadcasted all around the world,” said Alan.

With presentation and performance in mind, Alan purchased a Dennis G760 and two Dennis Premiers. Both are market leaders in the turf care industry and are relied upon at some of the most prestigious sporting venues throughout the world. The Dennis Premier is available in 30” and 36” cutting widths and features a 3 section rear roller and steering brakes. It is easy to manoeuvre and provides excellent stripe patterns. Complete with a large diameter front roller with adjustable scraper, for precise height of cut control, the machine is easy to adjust on both sides with the use of a single spanner.

The Dennis G760 features a unique interchangeable cassette system with one minute changeover giving options to fit various heads including scarifiers, verticutters, brushes, spikers and slitters as well as 6 or 8 bladed cutting cassettes. With a 34" cutting width and weighing in at a lightweight 156kg, the G760 is one of the most versatile mowers on the market.

Both mowers perfectly complement one another according to Gregg: “The Premiers do the bigger areas because it’s got a wider cut and obviously you can cover more ground. With the brake levers on each side you can turn it very sharply if you need to so it is great to operate it. It gives you the perfect cut every time. The other reason why we rely so much on the Premiers is because we have a lot of turf areas that the horses walk over. As you can imagine, it helps having a heavier machine because it will iron out any of the hoof prints, so you don’t have to bring a roller in separately. You can simply switch the cutting unit off and roll over them.

“We use the G760 in the smaller areas, such as the winners’ enclosure, corners and other areas. It gives you a lovely stripe and it is so easy to use. I would say that the best feature on the G760 is the interchangeable cassette system because it saves you from having a multitude of different machines sitting in your shed – with the G760 you can have one machine that can carry out a number of different tasks.”

On top of the quality and performance of the machines, Alan was also quick to praise the service he receives from the British manufacturer: “The service that we get from Dennis is fantastic. In my opinion aftersales is just as important as the machine itself. There is no point in having a machine if you can’t get someone to help you look after it once you’ve bought it. Fortunately for me, Dennis have great products and they proudly stand by those products with a great after sales service.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact Dennis 01332 824 777 or visit

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    Dennis First Past the Post at Newmarket.