Ascot Racecourse was crowned Champion Racecourse for the second time in three years tonight at the 2016 RCA Showcase & Awards event.
The RCA Showcase & Awards, partnered for the first time in 2016 by Moët Hennessy and held at Doncaster Racecourse, celebrates excellence and innovation across the raceday experience.
With 12 racecourse awards in total, covering all aspects of racecourse management, Ascot excelled across the board, taking top honours for Digital and Social Media Excellence and Operational Excellence. They also won the Dual Purpose Racecourse Groundstaff Award and were Finalists in the Owners’ Experience category.
The Owners’ Experience Award went to Chester Racecourse though while the overall Racecourse Groundstaff Champion was Cartmel Racecourse.
The Events Award was one of the most hotly contested categories this year and it was Musselburgh Racecourse who took the honours for their stunning Bi-Centenary Celebration Raceday which included a visit from HM The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.Elsewhere the Best Campaign Award went to Newbury Racecourse for their Al Shaqab Lockinge Day 2016 Campaign, labelled ‘Best Day Our by a Mile’.
All About The Horse was won by Pontefract Racecourse and Aintree Racecourse claimed the Racing Together Community and CSR Award for the second year running.
Food and Beverage winners were Cheltenham Racecourse for the outstanding variety of offering available in the new Princess Royal Stand.
The #TopSpot award went to Beverley Racecourse for the phenomenally popular Donkey Derby and the Racing Post Readers Award for outstanding customer service was taken by Bath Racecourse.
Goodwood Racecourse’s Seamus Buckley was honoured with the Neil Wyatt Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the sport, which has seen more than 50 years of service, including 22 seasons as Clerk of the Course at Goodwood.
The evening started with a Moët & Chandon Reception in celebration of RaceTech’s 70thAnniversary while earlier in the day racecourses heard from a variety of speakers from inside and outside the racing during the Showcase Seminar.
With the theme of using technology to boost the raceday experience running throughout the seminar, among the speakers were ITV Racing – who outlined their vision for the sport when they take over as the terrestrial broadcaster on 1 January 2017.
Maggie Carver, Racecourse Association Chairman, said: "All of the winners tonight have shown an exceptional commitment to providing outstanding customer experiences at their racecourse. It's really pleasing to see such a wide range of racecourses winning awards, highlighting the huge variety of raceday experiences available across our sport.
"Engagement levels with the event have increased again this year, which is testament to the ambitious and aspiring nature of our racecourses and I'd like to thank all those who entered. The Finalists can be very proud of making the shortlist.
"Well done to the winners and especially the team at Ascot Racecourse who have once again showcased the very best in excellence and innovation throughout the year."
Juliet Slot, Commercial Director at Ascot Racecourse, said: "We're absolutely delighted and it's a great honour to be Champion Racecourse two years out of three.
"It's testament to the work of the whole team across the racecourse and it was fantastic to be listed as Finalists in a wide variety of categories. Our thanks go to the RCA and we are very humbled to accept this award."