Showcase & Awards 2017 Finalists revealed

The Racecourse Association (RCA) is delighted to announce the Finalists for the 2017 Showcase & Awards.

Covering ten categories the Showcase & Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in racecourse customer experience across all elements of racecourse operation. The Finalists were decided after a day of intense voting and decision making from the independent panel of six judges.

A winner in each category, as well as an overall Champion Racecourse, will be decided at the RCA’s annual marquee Showcase & Awards event which this year takes place at Newbury on 16 November.

The list of Finalists across the 10 categories covers 26 racecourses in total with Beverley, Goodwood and Pontefract standing out at this stage having been named as Finalists in four categories. Ascot, Hamilton Park, Newbury and York follow hotly on their heels as Finalists in three categories.

Racecourses that have been named as Finalists in two or more categories are now invited to submit an entry for Champion Racecourse. As well as those already listed, Aintree, Chelmsford City, Royal Windsor and Sandown Park are also eligible.

This year will also see the first ever individual Award offered – The RCA Outstanding Achievement Award. This Award, celebrating staff who have given exemplary service to their racecourse and achieved notable results, is sure to present some worthy nominations which will be reviewed by a deciding committee led by RCA Chairman Maggie Carver.

Stephen Atkin, RCA Chief Executive, said, “It is a highlight of our year to see so many quality Showcase Awards submissions go before the judges to measure the impact and growth of the raceday experience. The diversity of racecourses amongst the Finalists demonstrates both the quality and variety of the raceday experience.

“I extend a hearty congratulations to each of the Finalists on securing this achievement and am waiting with great anticipation for the ceremony at Newbury on Thursday 16th November to see who will join our esteemed list of winners.”

Judges feedback

Chris Cook, Deputy Racing Editor of The Guardian, said, “The best feature of the Showcase & Awards, to me, is the chance it gives to racecourses to learn from each other and copy good ideas.

“It was really encouraging to see evidence of tracks doing that as part of a serious effort to improve their work and also to see so many tracks taking part. More generally, the quality of some of the entries was excellent, from lower-profile venues as well as the big operators.”

Steve Brice, Chief Executive of Pharaoh Experience, added, “Having judged for the lastthree years it was great to see the quality of submissions has really stepped up and

racecourses have focused on the key metrics of the customer, innovation and ROI.

“What was particularly pleasing was to see the learnings from previous years and the sharing of great ideas coming through from a number of the submissions.”

Patricia Pugh (Dr Patricia Hardy), ROA Council Member and Packard Curator at the National Horseracing Museum Newmarket, commented, “It was a pleasure to be involved in the Showcase & Awards for the first time. There was an interesting range of entries which really did showcase the best of British racecourses.”

Gareth Balch, Chief Executive of Two Circles, said: “The Showcase & Awards are a brilliant reminder of what a fantastic sport horse racing is and the talented, tenacious teams up and down the country running the racecourses.

“It was brilliant to see the prominence of evidence based results growing the sport in this years awards. Congratulations to all the courses who invested their energy in celebrating their successes. It was a great set of entries.”

Matt Lynch, Executive Director of Venue Inc., added, “This year’s submissions were an inspiring collection with many meeting a best in class standard.  The panel of judges was knowledgeable, passionate and standard driven.”


The Finalists

Love of the Sport

ARC—The Silk Series

Beverley—Hull FC Family Fun Week

Cheltenham—Junior Jumpers

Goodwood—Through The Eyes

Pontefract—Getting In The Zone

Best Campaign

Ascot—A World Like Nowhere Else

Musselburgh—Easter Saturday

Pontefract—The Wall Of Fame

Sandown Park—2016 Betfair Tingle Creek Festival

Windsor—SkyBet Windsor Sprint Series

Community & Corporate Social Responsibility

Aintree—Aintree Community Programme- Impact & Innovation

Beverley—Sun’s Out, Guns Out (but be responsible) at Beverley Racecourse

Lingfield Park—Take The Reins

Newbury—The Arabian Rainbow Project

Warwick—St Mary’s Land Masterplan

Digital & Social Media

ARC—Sectional Timing & In-race Data Provision

Chelmsford City— #ThePlaceToBe

Chester—Innovative Raceday Social Engagement

Goodwood—Content Is King

Sandown Park—Creating Engaging Content


Aintree—Red Rum at 40

Catterick—Racing Recruitment Day

Chelmsford City—Ladies Day 2017

Cheltenham—The McCoys

York—Jump Jockeys & Olly Murs Play Our 18th

Food & Beverage

Ascot—Raising The Standard Of Our Food Concessions In The Queen Anne Enclosure At Royal Ascot 2017

Beverley—Winteringham Fields At Beverley Racecourse

Goodwood—The Drunken Botanist Comes Alive

Worcester—The Severn Restaurant- Fine Dining At A Small Racecourse

York—EBOR- Eat Between Our Races

Operational Excellence

Ascot—Introducing The Village Enclosure At Royal Ascot 2017

Hamilton Park—Bringing The High Street Experience To Hamilton Park

Hereford—From Rundown To Racing In 4 Months

Newbury—Raising The Game In Equine & Stable Staff Welfare Facilities

Pontefract—Capturing Data

Owners’ Experience

Bangor-on-Dee—Developing An Attractive Offering Through New Development & Delivery Of An Industry-leading Experience

Cheltenham—The Heart Of Our Sport

Hamilton Park—Exceeding Expectations

Newcastle—A Sustainably Improved Owners Experience

Redcar—The Winning Experience For All

Racing Post Readers Award


Fontwell Park





Beverley—The Bark D’Triomphe

Hamilton Park—Winners Wall

Newbury—Newbury Poppy Appeal

Pontefract—The Wall of Fame

Ripon—Heck! Pop-up BBQ