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.
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
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
Manager, Sandown Park
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
Solicitor from Derby
Throughout the 20th century and beyond, the RCA has played a key role in historic racing landmarks such as:
The establishment of the Horserace Totalisator Board (first used at Newmarket’s July Course)
The first ever evening race meeting at Hamilton Park
The first ever photofinish on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile
Introduction of starting stalls, first used at Newmarket’s July Course
Launch of The Racegoers Club
Introduction of racing on All Weather Tracks
The first Sunday race meeting, held at Doncaster
RaceTech purchased by the RCA
Inaugural RCA Showcase & Awards
Signing of the Members’ Agreement
International acclaim for the Showcase & Awards at the European Association Awards