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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Prescott dragged into the digital age with launch of website

Sir Mark Prescott : into the 21st century at Heath House
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Sir Mark Prescott has taken a belated first step into the digital age by launching his own website – but only on sufferance.

The Baronet's assistant and business partner William Butler has taken the plunge on his behalf by registering the new site at

The venture is part of the preparation for Butler eventually taking the reins at Heath House where a brand new office/tack room is close to completion.

Prescott, who has trained at the historic Newmarket yard for 47 years, still dictates emails for his secretary to send.

He said: “I'm in shock that Heath House should be launching a website. 

"It's a world of which I know nothing, but I do now realise its importance and William Butler, my long-time assistant and business partner, has at last prevailed. 

"At Heath House, we've long enjoyed the reputation for having the best equipped and most modern 50-horse yard in the world, so I have now reluctantly had to concede that it's time to invest in today’s world of instant communication, too."

Although the site is unlikely to reveal much information about plots, work reports or lenient handicap marks, Butler is hoping it will be popular.

Butler, who has been with Prescott since 1999, said: "I'm really pleased with the website. It reflects our business values and showcases what our yard has to offer.

"With many new owners coming from outside of the racing industry, we can no longer presume people know who we are and where we are."

Butler also manages the recently launched Heath House Stables twitter account @HeathHouseNkt.

Racing Luddites: three trainers who dispense with digital

No one has ever accused the training fraternity of being at the cutting edge of technology and almost three decades on from the first website ever made several of the biggest names in the sport still lack a digital presence.

Nicky Henderson
The master of Seven Barrows cited learning to send a text message as his New Year's resolution in both 2015 and 2016, so perhaps it's unsurprisingly he's never launched a website. Henderson does, however, have a Twitter account – although frequent use of emoticons does raise some small doubt over how large a role the man himself plays in its operation.

Sir Michael Stoute
The Barbadian trainer is famously reluctant to give interviews or appear in the spotlight, so perhaps it's no surprise that his digital footprint is non-existent: no website, no social media, no anything. It's not done him any harm, though.

Dermot Weld
Weld is renowned as a pioneer of international racing, sending runners around the globe when doing so was novel and becoming the first Northern Hemisphere trainer to win the Melbourne Cup. However his pioneering attitude doesn't appear to extend to digital frontiers – no trace of a Weld website exists.

It's a world of which I know nothing, but I do now realise its importance
E.W. Terms
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