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04 July 2024

Racecourse Association Launches 2024 Showcase Seminar & Awards

The Racecourse Association (RCA) has launched the 2024 Showcase Seminar & Awards, created to celebrate excellence and innovation across British racecourses during the past year. 

The Showcase is the RCA’s marquee event, and this year will take place on Thursday 7th November at The Signet Library in Edinburgh, part of the Heritage Portfolio family and the venue of choice of current Showcase Champion Racecourse, Musselburgh. The RCA is proud to be joined by Great British Racing (GBR), Racing Together, Racing Foundation and Racing Post as headline partners for the event. 

The Showcase Awards are the ultimate opportunity to celebrate the best of British racecourses from the past 12 months with ten categories covering all aspects of the raceday experience available for racecourses to enter. The event will conclude with the presentation of the RCA’s most prestigious awards: Groundstaff Champion, the top accolade in the Racecourse Groundstaff Awards, and Showcase Champion Racecourse. 

Each submission is assessed by an independent, expert judging panel which this year is comprised of: 

  • Tara Warren, Executive Director, West Ham United FC & BHA Board Member
  • Martin Dalby, Non-Executive Chairman, Center Parcs UK & Ireland
  • Aileen Goatley, Head of Marketing, Horse Racing Ireland
  • Louise Norman, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Racehorse Owners Association
  • David Carr, Racing Reporter, Racing Post

More information on this year’s event, categories and judging panel can be found in our Showcase companion Guide here

The RCA is pleased to once again be working with a range of industry partners to further enhance individual Awards. The winner of the Racing Together Community Award will have the opportunity to work with the charity to produce a case study and video PR of the successful initiative, whilst the Racing Foundation will once again open a fast-track funding application route to consider a grant of up to £20,000 for the winner of the Racing Foundation Green Award.

The Racing Post Readers’ Award allows the race going public to have their say, inviting them to vote for their favourite racecourse based on customer service, value for money and overall raceday experience. The Owners’ Racecourse of the Year award, in partnership with the Racehorse Owners Association (ROA), asks racehorse owners to vote for their racecourse of the year based on their raceday experience with a runner, experience without a runner and the overall racing experience as an owner. 

The Showcase will begin with a half-day conference and exhibition allowing some of the biggest brands in sport and leisure to share best practice alongside the leading organisations within British racing. Previous speakers have included globally recognised brands such as Eurovision, Center Parcs, Wimbledon and Silverstone. A full programme and ticket details will be available in due course. 

Paul Swain, Head of Raceday Experience & Communications at the RCA, said: “The Showcase Seminar & Awards are a genuine highlight in the RCA’s calendar. They allow us to celebrate the excellent work undertaken by racecourses across Great Britain and champion this best practice to our complete membership. 

“Our independent judging panel is comprised of some of the leading minds across European horseracing, the wider sports and leisure industries and the media. Racecourses receiving a Showcase Award can do so in the knowledge their initiative is considered leading practice. 

“The diverse range of awards cover all aspects of racecourse operations and give racecourses of all sizes the opportunity to demonstrate their work. My thanks go to this year’s event partners and we eagerly await this year’s submissions ahead of the event later this year.” 

John Blake, Chief Executive at Racing Together, said: There is no doubt that the prominence given by the RCA to the Racing Together Community Award at Showcase has inspired racecourses to create and deliver this vital work with increasing innovation, finding solutions that match community needs. The whole sport benefits from this spotlight and the new, tangible contact points this varied work provides – both in directly helping others and also reframing the sport’s potential to wider society. Congratulations to all the entrants and we look forward to working closely with the winners again this year.”

Louise Norman, Interim CEO of the Racehorse Owners Association, said: “We are thrilled to partner with the 2024 RCA Showcase Awards, celebrating excellence and innovation across British racecourses. This event provides a wonderful opportunity for owners to celebrate the hardworking individuals behind the scenes who make race days so special. We look forward to celebrating with all the nominees and winners at this year’s event.”

Tansy Challis, Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation, said: “The Racing Foundation is proud to be supporting the RCA Showcase Green Award into its third year which showcases the crème de la crème of racecourse-led sustainability projects.   

“We will again accept a grant application for consideration from the winning racecourse for up to £20,000 to help secure the legacy of their initiative.   

“The award will highlight some of the brilliant work racecourses have delivered throughout 2024 to support British racing’s efforts to become environmentally sustainable.”

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