Racing: Brick leaving marketing role with Otago Racing Club

Megan Brick bids farewell to the Otago Racing Club today after two years as the club's marketing and events manager. Photo by Matt Smith.
Megan Brick bids farewell to the Otago Racing Club today after two years as the club's marketing and events manager. Photo by Matt Smith.
As a former jockey, Megan Brick knows all about the importance of the Melbourne Cup on the racing calendar.

But the first Tuesday in November has left Brick (38) with both highs and lows as she ends her 22-month stint as the Otago Racing Club's marketing and events manager today.

Brick, who rode 89 winners across nine years, including the 1999 Grand National Hurdles and Steeplechase double, has unpleasant memories of last year's Melbourne Cup race day at Wingatui as the rain began falling three days out from the club's biggest meeting of the year.

But there is no doubting the kick she got out of putting in months of work and seeing a packed Wingatui racecourse on Melbourne Cup day in 2011.

''The first Melbourne Cup day [was great] - we had a record crowd and just the buzz of it all,'' she said.

''[Chief executive] Andre [Klein] and I both stood in this office when people were coming in the gate, and just seeing queues and queues. We just looked each other and said `wow, we created this'.''

Brick had an ambition to get into racing administration roles after her career, but completed a bachelor of marketing degree at the University Otago to get her foot in the door.

''I had tried to get into the administration side of it all along, but didn't have the qualifications behind me, like most jockeys who leave school at 15,'' she said.

Brick has learned plenty since joining the club in September 2011 and it opened her eyes to what goes on to get race meetings off the ground - and the crowds through the gates.

''I don't think people realise how much goes on behind the scenes.

''I certainly didn't, coming from riding and training. I had no idea what was involved with the administration side of it all.''

Brick won't be far away from the racing industry, and she would like to help turn once-a-year racegoers into more regular fans as industry leaders try to curb the code's decline.

''We need to learn how to turn those spectators into participants and encourage them into ownership and syndication. It's something I'm very keen to get involved in further down the track.''

Brick's new job is covering the Otago area for Web Genius, an internet marketing company, and the use of social media is something she can see growing in the racing industry.

''I quite enjoyed the social media marketing side of it. I think there's huge benefits for racing, and I'd like to encourage the trainers to lean down that road.''

The new job will involve some travel, but Brick also gets to work from home, meaning more time with her daughters Abby (10) and Jenna (8).

The Otago Racing Club has advertised the position Brick is leaving.