Bringing together the racecourses
of Great Britain

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Statement of purpose

The Racecourse Association serves the interests of its 59 British racecourse members empowering them to be the best venues that they can be.

The RCA works on behalf of racecourses to represent their views within the sport through the tripartite structure of the Members’ Agreement alongside BHA and The Horsemen’s Group. Outside of horseracing, we work alongside the Government, other sports and leisure venues, and national charities to meet the needs of racecourses.

Additionally, the RCA encourages and facilitates racecourse community engagement, involvement in horse welfare initiatives, responsible drinking campaigns, and various other partnerships within the sport.

Values & objectives

The vision of the Racecourse Association is to support racecourses and to assist them in achieving their objectives. This is delivered through the provision of legal, professional and technical advice as well as information regarding best practice within the sport and the wider leisure industry.
Our six core values are to:
  • Behave at all times with integrity and honesty, and be trusted and respected by racecourses and all others with whom we deal.
  • Be open to working, where appropriate, in partnership with racecourses and other colleagues and organisations both within and outside British horseracing.
  • Support racecourses and others who rely on us, and be open and approachable to all.
  • Provide creative leadership in a proactive manner, both in the advice we provide to racecourses and in identifying and furthering objectives for British horseracing.
  • Be recognised as a knowledgeable and reliable source of information for racecourses, colleagues within British horseracing, and beyond.
  • Communicate the RCA’s policies and activities and to best represent racecourses’ interests with key opinion formers, including the press, media and Government.
The key RCA objectives are to:
  • Promote racecourse interests within racing and generally.
  • Work with racecourses to increase and develop new income streams.
  • Promote the highest professional standard in racecourse management, health and safety, and medical and veterinary care
  • Assist racecourses in complying with regulations and BHA General Instructions.
  • Provide information, training and support for racecourses.
  • Manage The Racegoers Club.

59 Racecourses

From Perth to Newton Abbot, the 59 members of the Racecourse Association cover the length and breadth of Great Britain. The racecourses take many different shapes and sizes – all part of the charm of racing in Britain.

With 23 National Hunt racecourses providing jump racing, 19 flat racing and 17 dual-purpose racecourses, there is something for everyone across the country, and Britain is home to six all-weather tracks offering flat racing opportunities throughout the winter months.

What brings all British racecourses together is the exceptional raceday experience offered. Home to world-class racing events such as the Grand National, Cheltenham Festival, 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby, Royal Ascot, St Leger and All-Weather Championships, the racecourses of Great Britain carry hundreds of years of heritage and history that can be discovered on every visit.

The ownership structure of the racecourses is equally varied, with Jockey Club Racecourses owning 14 and Arena Racing Company owning 15. The remaining 30 RCA racecourses are owned independently.

View our racecourses

1907

The Racecourse Association was formed on 16 May 1907 by eight founders who recognised the need for a collaborative voice amongst British racecourses. The eight founders, from across Great Britain, represented a broad spectrum of racing and professional expertise:

Hwfa Williams – Founding director

Hwfa Williams

Manager, Sandown Park

Miles I’Anson

Clerk of the Course & Stakeholder from Malton

Robert R. Fowler

Clerk of the Course & Club Secretary to Lingfield Racecourse

George H. Verrall

Accountant from Newmarket

W. Dorning Beckton

Solicitor from Manchester

W. J. Ford

Race Official from Nottingham

C. L. Bates

Lieutenant Colonel from Hexham

Joseph Bostock

Solicitor from Derby

 

Throughout the 20th century and beyond, the RCA has played a key role in historic racing landmarks such as:

  • 1927

    The establishment of the Horserace Totalisator Board (first used at Newmarket’s July Course)

  • 1947

    The first ever evening race meeting at Hamilton Park

  • 1949

    The first ever photofinish on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile

  • 1965

    Introduction of starting stalls, first used at Newmarket’s July Course

  • 1968

    Launch of The Racegoers Club

  • 1989

    Introduction of racing on All Weather Tracks

  • 1992

    The first Sunday race meeting, held at Doncaster

  • 1998

    RaceTech purchased by the RCA

  • 2010

    Inaugural RCA Showcase & Awards

  • 2015

    Signing of the Members’ Agreement

Meet the team

Maggie Carver | Chairman See Hide bio

Maggie Carver’s tenure as Chairman of the Racecourse Association began in 2015, when she became the first woman in the organisation’s history to hold the position. No stranger to the world of racing, Maggie joined the RCA as the Chair of subsidiary RaceTech. Maggie is also influential in the media and film spheres, holding senior positions within ITN, the British Board of Film Classification and Services Sound & Vision Corporation.

Stephen Atkin | Chief Executive See Hide bio

Stephen Atkin has led the Racecourse Association since 2000 and has overseen the RCA’s contribution to a number of notable landmarks for the sport, such as the creation of BHA, Racing for Change, and the signing of the Members’ Agreement. A chartered accountant, Stephen has enjoyed a number of roles in the sporting and financial worlds, including at the BHB and ECB.

Board of Directors

The Racecourse Association’s Board of Directors is comprised of senior representatives from British racecourses. Our Board ensures that the voices of all racecourses are heard and that a balanced viewpoint on strategic decisions for the sport is offered.

Charles Barnett Vice Chairman & Large Independent Racecourses
Bill Farnsworth Independent Racecourses
Jonjo Sanderson Independent Racecourses
Martin Cruddace ARC
Pat Masterson Independent Racecourses
Simon Bazalgette Jockey Club Racecourses

The RCA Executive Team

The Racecourse Association Executive Team, based in Ascot, is available to deal with enquiries across the following areas:

Racecourse Services

Caroline Davies
Racecourse Services Director

Holly Cook
Racecourse Services Manager

Paul Swain
Racecourse Services Executive

Carol Walker
PA to Racecourse Services

Matthew Taylor
Racecourse Services Assistant

Race Planning

Andy Clifton
Racing Director

Ben Cook
Racing Executive

Communications

Will Aitkenhead
Communications Executive

Racegoers Club

Sophie Hellyer
Racegoers Club Executive

Finance

Lance Havell
Financial Accountant

Jackie Tizzard
Finance Administrator