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24 November 2023

Ayr scoop Racing Together Community Award at RCA Showcase & Awards at Aintree

An unplanned fire alarm evacuation did nothing to dampen the celebrations of Ayr Racecourse for winning the Racing Together Community Award at the RCA Showcase & Awards held at Aintree racecourse on Thursday night.

Ayr came out on top in this very competitive category for the Ayrshire Cancer Support Partnership.

At the gala ceremony, Musselburgh picked up three individual awards enroute to being named as the overall Champion for 2023. This win capped a very successful evening for Scottish Racing.

The awards celebrate best practice across Britain’s racecourses, and hosts Rishi Persad and reigning WBC, WBO and IBF light-middleweight champion and IBF welterweight champion Natasha Jonas guided over 250 guests through the impressive list of Showcase Awards. The event is presented by the RCA and partnered by Great British Racing, Racing Together, the Racing Foundation and Racing Post.

Alongside Musselburgh’s top award, there were wins for Hamilton Park, Perth and Ayr, while Kelso received a Highly Commended accolade from the independent judging panel.

In the video below, a delighted Lindsey Smith from Ayr racecourse talks to Racing Together about the Ayrshire Cancer Support Partnership:

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The racecourse’s work in this area is a long-standing partnership that has benefitted from an extensive support network to generate awareness, funds and engagement with the charity, with over £40,000 raised for this important cause.

Royal Windsor received a Highly Commended accolade in this category for their ambitious initiative to support 26 charities on 26 racedays throughout the season.

Racing Together CEO John Blake introduced the award via this video:

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You can catch up with updates posted live from the awards evening on our X page.

Other notable winners during the evening included Perth winning the Diversity & Inclusion Award for their Pride Raceday, while former Champions Pontefract continued their excellent record at the Showcase Awards by winning the Raceday category. Pontefract’s Raceday For All delivered a range of bespoke initiatives designed to welcome racegoers who previously may have thought a day’s racing was inaccessible due to mental and/or physical challenges. The bold decision to swap a previously-popular raceday with this theme was rewarded with increased attendance and glowing feedback from racegoers. Exeter and Wincanton’s West Country Weekend double-header received a Highly Commended accolade in this category.

Salisbury’s Talk & Walk initiative was a high scorer with the judges and claimed the Non-Raceday Award. Acknowledging the significant number of perimenopausal and menopausal women feeling like they have limited support and guidance on the subjects, the racecourse welcomed anyone wishing to learn more to meet at the racecourse in a safe environment and walk the track. A one-off initiative has now become a regular group which has also attracted Government support.

In the second running of the Racing Foundation Green Award, Ascot claimed the prize for their outstanding Racing to Zero programme which saw the world-famous racecourse run a carbon-neutral enclosure at Royal Ascot and implement a range of initiatives designed to cut the racecourse’s environmental impact. As winners of this award, Ascot will now receive a fast-tracked route to bid for up to £20,000 from the Racing Foundation to support the legacy of this work. Kelso received a Highly Commended accolade for their rainwater/drainwater harvesting pond which has reaped both environmental and financial benefits for the borders track.

Full details and results can be found on the Racecourse Association website here

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