Desert holidays away from the turf gain popularity with jockeys

Pictured during a three-day break at Desert Springs is last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winning jockey Sam Thomas (second from right) with other jump jockeys (left to right) Jody Mogford, Colin Bolger, Alan O’Keefe and Dominic Elsworth.

An exclusive scheme whereby jockeys take a break from the turf to enjoy a holiday in Europe’s only desert has been so successful that the arrangement has been renewed for a second year.

It was launched last year for the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) by The Almanzora Group Ltd of Cheltenham. The firm offers a range of holidays, golf, spa and fitness breaks at Desert Springs, Europe’s only international award-winning luxury family resort and championship desert golf course in the Almanzora region of Almeria in south-east Spain. The resort takes it name from the region’s desert microclimate which is unique in Europe.

The scheme devised by Simon Coaker, director of golf at Desert Springs, and PJA director Josh Apiafi enables jockeys to enjoy free accommodation for three nights in one of the resort’s luxurious Colonial Apartments and breakfast in its award-winning El Torrente Restaurant. They can also play three rounds of golf on the resort’s 72 par 18-hole Indiana golf course, with the opportunity to practice in the golf academy prior to play.

Also available for their use are the fitness gym and pools as well as massages and other health treatments in the Day Spa. Tennis, mountain bike trail rides, a trim trail and jogging tracks are among other resort facilities.

Jockeys who wish to eat out can choose between the resort’s El Torrente and Crocodile Club restaurants, or numerous tapas bars and restaurants in local villages.

Says Simon: "I am delighted that members of the PJA have taken up their exclusive complimentary invitation to visit us and enjoy a well-earned break in the sun, whilst benefiting from the exceptional variety of facilities available at Desert Springs.
“Our commitment is to exceed our guests’ expectations with a warm and friendly welcome, providing an uncompromising level of service from the moment they arrive. We pride ourselves on anticipating what our guests require and delivering what they need.”
Feedback received from jockeys who have already visited confirms that they regard Desert Springs is a superb venue, reports Simon.

He says: “Renewal of the jockeys’ holiday offer for 2009 underlines the commitment of Desert Springs to continue to develop and strengthen its commercial partnership with the PJA and benefit its members."

Josh commented: “The PJA and its 400 members are delighted to partner with the Almanzora Group and, in particular, the Desert Springs Resort. I think golf is the second love of all our members – and golf courses don’t come much better than the Indiana at Desert Springs!”

He added: “Many of our members enjoyed a five-star break in south east Spain last year and, following recommendations from members who have already experienced the resort’s world-class hospitality, we’re seeing a large increase in enquires.”



For further information contact: The Almanzora Group
Telephone: +44 (0) 1242 680 299