The Racegoers Club – Ripon crowned as Best Small Racecourse in Northern England – March 2016

Ripon Racecourse is proud to announce it has retained its crown as ‘Best Small Racecourse in Northern England’

Team Ripon with Will Aikenhead from the RCA

Team Ripon with Will Aikenhead from the RCA

once again for 2015. After being awarded the title in 1996, 2003, 2009, 2011 & 2014, Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse is the first racecourse in the ‘Small North’ category to win the award in back to back years.

These prestigious awards are always eagerly anticipated by the racecourses. With the Club’s 5,000 strong membership going racing on average over 30 times per year, and travelling far and wide thanks to the Club’s extensive concession scheme and comprehensive diary of social events, no-one is better qualified to reward the worthy national and regional winners.

James Hutchinson, Managing Director & Clerk of the Course commented, “Back to back wins of this award is a real credit to the work put in by all the team at Ripon and gives us a target to continue aspiring to.”

RCA Showcase – Special Merit Groundsman Award – November 2015


Head Groundsman Carl Tonks recieves the IOG award from Bill Watt on behalf of his team.

We are thrilled to have been notified that Carl and his team have been given a Special Merit award by sponsors Watt Fences and at this years RCA Showcase awards.

The award which is given at the discretion of the sponsors is in recognition of the exceptional circumstances and wy the team at Ripon have pulled together in light of Head Groundsman Carl Tonks recent illness. The award which will not be officially presented until our 2016 raceday credits the hard work and team spirit that Carl has encouraged throughout his staff.

Well done lads!

RCA Showcase Award Finalist – #RiponAlice – November 2015

IMG_0218Our #RiponAlice entry has been nominated in the Racing Together Community & Corporate Social Responsibility category at the 2015 RCA Showcase Awards, celebrating excellence and innovation on Britain’s racecourses which takes place at Ascot Racecourse on Thursday 12 November.

Family racedays are a big part of Ripon’s racing calendar and due to the vagaries of the construction of the 2015 fixture list, their traditional two-day fixture of the Bank Holiday was split; resulting in a new stand-alone fixture on Tuesday 18th August.

Ripon capitalised on this by introducing a new family day in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the much loved classic story, ‘Alice in Wonderland – a story very close to Ripon’s heart. Author Lewis Carroll spent many of his teenage years in Ripon whilst his father worked as a Canon at Ripon Cathedral. The city shares many close links with the story such as the mystical gypsum holes that Ripon is so well known for and carvings of white rabbits and hares in the cathedral to name a few. Historians believe these links were influential to Carroll when writing the creative and mystical story.

Working with local community groups, libraries and schools the racecourse set up local community group called #RiponAlice and started a campaign to involve local resources and help bring the community together to celebrate the anniversary and help educate locals and children of the connections. The day was the primary event in the cities celebrations and played a fantastic role in educating the young racegoers, even teaming up with a local theatre production group. One lucky racegoer even saw their design on the front of the racecard in their ‘design the racecard’ competition and the day was a fantastic example of working with the community in educating the next generation of racegoers at Ripon.

Click here to see our entry and view all finalists entries

Erin Boswell, Marketing Executive said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for the award which holds such great recognition within the Horse Racing industry. Being able to involve the local community in celebrating the anniversary and share the proud heritage was something we are really proud of. It’s certainly set the foundations for some great community working relationships for the future”


Visitor Attraction Gold Award – 2015 Yorkshire in Bloom

We are thrilled to have been awarded once again with a ‘Visitor Attraction Gold Award’ from Yorkshire in Bloom at the 2015 awards in Harrogate. The consistancy of Head Groundsman Carl Tonk’s and his teams efforts have once again proved worthy of this highly acclaimed award within the Yorkshire community.

Well done team Ripon!

Ripon regains its crown as “Best Small Racecourse in the North – February 2015


Ripon Racecourse is proud to announce it has regained its crown as ‘Best Small Racecourse in the North’. After also being awarded the title in 1996, 2003, 2009 & 2011, Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse is delighted to add 2014 to their tally.

This year’s award follows substantial maintenance and refurbishment work which has seen Ripon invest in various new bar facilities and the introduction of their own on-course betting operator ‘RiponBET’. The 2015 season which starts with an afternoon of racing on Thursday 16th April, will see the introduction of three new hospitality rooms due to increased demand. The Board of Directors is committed to continuing investment to keep building on the great quality racing and functionality of the racecourse.

James Hutchinson, Managing Director & Clerk of the Course commented, “We are thrilled to be bringing the title back to Ripon. We pride ourselves on trying not only to meet, but also to exceed our customers’ expectations. We have another exciting summer of racing ahead and this is a fantastic way to start our season”

Bill Bailey, Marketing Executive of The Racegoers club commented, “We are delighted to name Ripon our Best Small Racecourse in the North. The friendly staff at Ripon have done a wonderful job delivering excellent facilities that our members regularly praise. It’s a beautiful setting and the easy access to the parade ring and viewing areas make a day out at Ripon a pleasure. I’m sure our members will continue to visit regularly and we would encourage others to do so too, it’s a fantastic day out.”

IOG John Deere Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year – December 2014


We are extremely proud of Carl and his team for successfully making the final two of the IOG John Deere Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year. Both flying the flag for Yorkshire, the team sadly lost out to York Racecourse who took the prestigious award.

This team award highlights the very best sports turf management at a horseracing venue.  The winning team should mostly be paid on a full-time basis at the course. It is open to all venues that host events with paying spectators attending

Erin Boswell, Marketing Executive of Ripon Racecourse said “It’s a fantastic achievement for Carl and his team to have not only made the shortlist but the top two of these awards. Working in one of the smallest teams in the industry, Carl and his team work hard all year round to make our Racecourse such a beautiful place and we stand proud to be one of the most consistent turf tracks around”

RCA Showcase Award Finalist – The Great War Remembered – November 2014


We are extremely proud to have been nominated as a finalist for the third consecutive year at the annual RCA Showcase awards. The awards celebrate innovations and marketing within racing and to have been shortlisted again is a great honour.

This year’s entry was once again in a very competitive category and congratulations to Cartmel Racecourse who were awarded their first Showcase award.

Our entry this year was focused around the community raceday put together in commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the First World War. Our entry can be viewed at

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