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04 October 2022

RCA Showcase & Awards Finalists announced including Racing Together Community Award

2022 RCA Showcase Awards Finalists Revealed

Four racecourses lead the way at the eleventh annual RCA Showcase Awards with Aintree, Ascot, Pontefract and York Racecourses, all previous Showcase Champion racecourses, sharing three Finalist nominations apiece.

All winners, plus the overall Showcase Champion and Racecourse Groundstaff Awards Champion, will be crowned at the gala ceremony to be held at Pontefract Racecourse on Thursday 10th November.

The annual Showcase Awards is the industry awards for British racecourses, celebrating excellence and innovation in racecourse operation and raceday experience. The highly coveted awards are held in partnership with Great British Racing, Racing Post, the Racing Foundation and Racing Together. This is the first time the event has taken place since 2019 due to a pandemic-enforced hiatus.

The Racing Together Community Award recognises initiatives relating to the local community, environment or charitable causes. Entries were asked to demonstrate how a community engagement programme has and continues to improve relationships with the local community through working with key stakeholders. Finalists are as follows:

The Racing Together Community Award
Aintree—Harnessing The Power Of The People’s Race
Ascot—Celebrating The Platinum Jubilee
Catterick—Platinum Jubilee Raceday
Chester—Chester Loves Racegoers. Love it Back.
Scottish Racing—Scottish Racing In The Community

John Blake, Chief Executive of Racing Together said: “Congratulations to the finalists and all the entrants for this year’s Racing Together Community Award and thanks to the Racecourse Association for promoting the importance of racecourses’ community engagement for the past eight years.

“Last year’s RCA Racecourses Together event underlined the immediate, creative and generous responses of racecourses nationwide to the impact of Covid on their communities. Since the sport has resumed a more normal pace, it is so encouraging that varied outreach programmes have not only continued but have both grown, and targeted their efforts to meet some specific priorities of their neighbours. Racing Together is committed to support and showcase how racecourses add value and achieve real impact year-round.”

Following a day of intense deliberation by the five-person panel of independent judges, each of the nine categories have been shortlisted with Finalists. Reigning Champions Pontefract Racecourse demonstrated they remain at the top of their game with three nominations in the Marketing, Food & Beverage and customer-nominated Racing Post Readers’ Award categories.

Ascot’s fantastic year was also acknowledged by the judges as they also were shortlisted in three categories. Ascot will be head-to-head against Pontefract in the Marketing and Food & Beverage categories whilst also picking up a nomination for the Racing Together Community Award.

Aintree maintained an ever-present showing in the Racing Together Community Award whilst also showing versatility as a venue by being nominated in the Raceday and Non-raceday Event categories. York also retained their position at the top of the standings with nominations in The Racing Post Readers’ Award, Food & Beverage and Diversity & Inclusion categories.

In its inaugural year, the Racing Foundation Green Award seeks to demonstrate best practice in environmental sustainability. The winning racecourse will receive a fast-track route to the Foundation to bid for up to £20k in support funding to secure the legacy of their initiative. After careful consideration, three exemplary initiatives were selected as Finalists: Newmarket’s Style Awards, The Jockey Club’s Going Green strategy and Ripon’s Greening Up pledge.

With entries from a significant number of Britain’s racecourses, there are plenty who will be excited for the gala ceremony on Thursday 10th November. As a central entity, the Jockey Club received three nominations representing a fantastic year for the racecourse group. Scottish Racing, the combined brand to support and promote racecourses and the sport of horseracing in Scotland received two nominations, whilst its Yorkshire counterpart Go Racing In Yorkshire joined them amongst the Finalists with their innovative Yorkshire Wonder Horse initiative.

Former champions Hamilton Park will also be looking for success after two nominations alongside Cheltenham, Chester, Epsom Downs, Goodwood, Lingfield Park, Musselburgh, Newmarket and Ripon Racecourses who all suitably impressed the judges and scooped two nominations apiece.

In a rare occurrence, the judges felt suitably moved by one entry to award the Judges’ Choice Award in recognition of an initiative which they felt was worthy of individual praise.  

Paul Swain, Raceday Experience & Communications Manager at the RCA, commented: “After three long years it has been both humbling and inspiring to welcome back the Showcase Seminar & Awards. Racecourses have had to work harder than ever before to offer a wonderful experience for customers and I believe this is reflected in the diversity and quality of our Finalists.

“I would like to thank all racecourses for entering and sharing this best practice with their colleagues and of course the judges for their considerable time in scrutinising all of the entries. We now turn to Pontefract on Thursday 10th November to find out the winners and the new additions to the Showcase hall of fame.”

Rod Street, Chief Executive Officer of Great British Racing, commented: “GBR is proud to be associated with the RCA Showcase Awards. We look forward to its return at Pontefract, following a long absence due to the impact of Covid. I am sure the event will be welcomed back warmly by racecourses, all of whom benefit from the share of best practice and celebration of innovation.”

Lee Mottershead, Senior Writer at the Racing Post, commented: “Having served as a judge when the Showcase Awards were last staged, it was a privilege to once again be part of a process that underlines how so many racecourses are working incredibly hard to look after the sport’s customers.

“The Racing Post is always keen to celebrate outstanding achievement, whether that has come from our stars on the track or the tracks themselves. We are therefore thrilled to be part of this marvellous competition and I can say with complete sincerity that the standard of entries made judging a difficult delight.

“I congratulate all the finalists on their efforts to ensure our industry thrives.”

Rob Hezel, Chief Executive at the Racing Foundation, said: “The Racing Foundation is pleased to be supporting the Green Award at the RCA Showcase this year.

“Environmental sustainability is vital to protect racing’s future and racecourses have a massive opportunity to contribute, not only in their operational practises but in positively influencing the behaviour of racegoers and their communities.

“We’d like to congratulate the three finalists on their environmental sustainably efforts and look forward to working with the winner to develop their project.”

Showcase Awards Finalists 2022 (Finalists listed alphabetically by racecourse).

All entries can be viewed on the RCA website here.

Diversity & Inclusion
Cheltenham—Aamilah Aswat
Goodwood—The Magnolia Cup
Market Rasen—Sensory Raceday Experience
Newbury—Female Commentary Initiative—Dani Jackson
York—Pride Raceday

Food & Beverage
Arena Racing Company—Reimagining Jockeys’ Catering
Ascot—The Mindful Bar
Chester—PARADE at Chester Racecourse
Pontefract—Huggamug @ The Pavilion
York—Champagne Pavilion

Ascot—Royal Ascot 2022: Global Audience Growth
Epsom Downs—The Cazoo Derby
Newton Abbot—Sunday Smiles
Pontefract—OAPs & Silver Surfers
The Jockey Club—The Jockey Club’s TikTok Account

Non-Raceday Event
Aintree—Champions League Final Screening
Bath—Cider Festival (Non) Raceday
Cheltenham—Gold Cup Community Tour
Goodwood—BBC Good Food Festival
Musselburgh—This Was The Greatest Show!

The Raceday Award
Aintree—Liverpool’s NHS Day
Epsom Downs—The Cazoo Derby
Musselburgh—Superhero Day 2021
Lingfield Park—The Winter Million
Newmarket—Cambridgeshire County Day

Racing Connection
Go Racing in Yorkshire—The Yorkshire Wonder Horse
Hamilton Park—Our Commitment to Owners & Trainers
Ripon—Goodbye Flys Ripon Stables Championship
Scottish Racing—Scottish Racing Academy
The Jockey Club—Junior Racing Experience Days

The Racing Foundation Green Award
Newmarket—Sustainable Style Awards
Ripon—Greening Up
The Jockey Club—Going Green 2022

The Racing Together Community Award
Aintree—Harnessing The Power Of The People’s Race
Ascot—Celebrating The Platinum Jubilee
Catterick—Platinum Jubilee Raceday
Chester—Chester Loves Racegoers. Love it Back.
Scottish Racing—Scottish Racing In The Community

Racing Post Readers’ Award
Hamilton Park
Lingfield Park
York or 07791 414027.

About the Showcase & Awards

This is the eleventh annual Showcase Seminar & Awards, the marquee event of the Racecourse Association (RCA) to celebrate excellence and innovation amongst British Racecourses in partnership with Great British Racing, Racing Post, the Racing Foundation and Racing Together.

It is renowned as the event to attend, learn from, engage with, support and celebrate racecourses. The daytime seminar and evening black tie awards ceremony are both guided by the principle themes of excellence and innovation, which we encourage all racecourses to apply to every element of racecourse operation and raceday experience.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday 10th November at Pontefract Racecourse.

The independent judging panel this year was comprised of Ann-Marie Blake (Managing Director, Verdayne Communications), Martin Dalby (Chairman, Center Parcs), Lee Mottershead (Senior Writer, Racing Post), George Foster (Managing Director (UK), Two Circles) and Louise Norman (Head of Ownership Experience, Racehorse Owners Association).

The Racing Post Readers’ Award is the only 100% customer-nominated award. Racegoers were invited to nominate their favourite racecourse and score out of 100 on customer service, value for money and overall raceday experience. The racecourse with the highest combined average score, subject to a minimum number of votes, will be crowned the winner.

The Showcase Champion is decided by the highest combined score from all entries (barring Racing Post Readers’ Award). To qualify, racecourses must be successful in at least one category.

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