The British Racing School in Newmarket provides top quality training for prospective jockeys. With an impressive list of past students and state of the art equipment for a range of courses, the future of horseracing is borne of the lessons learned here.

A new facility just to the north of the school is currently being built and is set to open in Autumn 2019. It is a sporting fitness and rehabilitation centre for injured jockeys and is called the Peter O’Sullevan House, in honour of the late racing commentator. One of the needs of this top facility is to provide plenty of natural light but to limit the brightness of direct beams of sunshine.

The contractor turned to Ashley Contracts to supply and fit the blinds, but they had one very specific request. It was specified by the initial designers that the blinds had a contrasting strip of fabric over the bottom bar.

‘It’s quite a stylish look for the roller blinds,’ explained Peter Hayman from Ashley Contracts. ‘Although, it’s not a standard request so we had to work out exactly how we could achieve it.’

British Racing School

A problem they encountered in the first instance was the difference in terminology for the part of the blind that needed to the contrasting strip and specifically how it would be made. Once they had established exactly what was required, Ashley Contracts set about finding a manufacturer who could accomplish the task.

Ashley Contracts asked manufacturers to provide samples showing how they propose the contrasting fabric bottom bar would be made. Yewdale submitted their suggestion, a strip of fabric welded into a pocket around the bottom bar. This kept the blind looking in keeping with the colour scheme whilst maintaining the support, rigidity and extra weight benefits of a bottom bar.

‘I discussed the requirements with Greg and Roy at Yewdale and they came back to me with the suggestion for how Yewdale would accomplish the fabric bottom bar welded pocket, and the contractors loved it,’ said Peter.

Ashley Contracts took the samples to the contractor and they chose Yewdale’s submission.

For Peter however, it wasn’t just because Yewdale was able to fulfil the request of the designers that made him happy, it was the fact that he knew he’d be able to find the best fabric to be paired with a top-quality product that is made by a company who understands his business. Forty-two YewdaleDefiant® R20 roller blinds and four R55 roller blinds were used across the whole project with Mermet Grey and Marine Blue Green Screen Fabric.

The surroundings of the building are beautiful with gardens and plenty of features to admire, and the windows in the Peter O’Sullevan House are typically very large, running almost floor to ceiling. As a result, Screen Fabric was an ideal suggestion for the project as it still allowed those inside to admire their outdoor surroundings, which may indeed aid their rehabilitation, whilst maintaining light levels at a manageable level so as not to make it hard to work in the building.

It took Ashley Contracts just one day to install the blinds and Peter says the contractor is pleased with the outcome.

‘The feedback has been very positive, and so when the contractor is pleased, we’re pleased!’ Peter said. ‘We found the Yewdale sales team to be very supportive and prepared to consider different options and manufacturing processes. It allowed us to work as a team to achieve the customer’s requirements, which is a great way to do business together.’

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