Our Community

Overview

Schools and Education

Ascot welcomes children to the races, especially at dedicated family racedays, and supports a number of local schools with their fundraising activities throughout the year.

In 2002, Ascot launched the Colts & Fillies Club with the aim of making horse racing more accessible to our younger audience. The Club is free to join for all children aged 17 years and under, and currently has over 18,500 members.

In March 2016, the Colts & Fillies Club helped several local schools raise money with a ticketing promotion for The Prince’s Countryside Fund Raceday, for the second year running. Participating schools received a percentage of the sales back to help with their own fundraising.

Last year, the racecourse also hosted pupils from St Francis School to help with their georgaphy project. The objective for the project was to use fieldwork to observe, measure record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.

The racecourse donates complimentary tickets as raffle and auction prizes throughout the year and many local schools and youth groups access the racecourse for fund-raising via bucket collections over the course of the year.

Local schools take part in bulb-planting on racecourse land annually.

Every year, the Ascot Nursery School closes for the week of Royal Ascot and kindly allows it to be used as a media centre for non racing photographers. The racecourse is very grateful for this, and even more so for the wonderful card they send each year to wish us luck for The Royal Meeting. 

Racing To School is a charity which supports young people's learning and development with the aim of encouraging an interest in horseracing both as a leisure activity and as a future career path.

Racing to School designs and delivers education programmes, working at racecourses, studs and training yards to provide a unique, fast-moving classroom full of learning opportunities for over 10,000 young people every year. The programme engages young people from all backgrounds, including those with Special Education Needs and schools in deprived areas and in rural isolation. Many local schoolchildren benefit from access to this programme at Ascot Racecourse every year.

Ascot works with the National Citizen Service, offering school leavers the opportunity to visit the racecourse and learn about what it looks for in an employee and the type of roles available.

Also, the racecourse supports Active Communities Network (CAN) which works with disadvantaged young people (aged 11-25) in specific geographical hubs across the UK, providing sports based programmes, personal and social development programmes, accredited training and helps to build pathways into employment.

For further information on the Colts & Fillies club click here or contact Jayne McWilliam on [email protected]

Charities

Ascot Racecourse is proud to be Berkshire’s flagship sports venue and is delighted to assist selected local charities and activities, in addition to racing charities, throughout the year.

Over 250 local charities, communities groups and businesses benefit each year either through monetary contributions or through complimentary tickets for use as raffle and auction prizes.

Beneficiaries in 2016 included: Ascot Volunteer Bureau, The Rotary Club’s Annual Sunninghill Fancy Dress Wheelbarrow Race, Latika Junior Tennis Club, the Windsor & District Branch of The Coldstream Guards Association, the Not Forgotten Association, Tickets for Troops and Ascot District Parish Council.

In addition, the beautiful hanging baskets which welcome residents and visitors to the High Street in the summer are funded by the racecourse.

Last year, over £330,000 was raised for The Prince’s Countryside Fund at our dedicated March raceday. This was their single biggest fundraising event for 2016 and has made a significant contribution to the grants that the Fund have distributed to various projects this year.

Working with the Ascot branch of Roundtable, a hugely popular charity fireworks event has been staged at the racecourse since 2006, following the action on the track on our opening raceday of the jumps season. Approximately £200,000 has been raised to date and in addition, local schools benefit by selling tickets to raise their own funds.

The Property Raceday, staged in July, brings together various facets of the property industry and raised around £225,000 in 2016 for children’s charities – nearly £1.5m has been raised since its inception.

Ascot is also engaged with the Racing To School-led Racing Together initiative, which seeks to give something back to the communities in which it operates around the country. British Racing invests £6.6 million a year in community engagement activities, while members of the 22,000 strong workforce donate 6,000 hours of their time each year for charitable activity.

On the Friday of Royal Ascot, concessions are available for military personnel and volunteers from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, and a dedicated bar for service personnel and their support operates. On this day, three related charities hold bucket collections; The RN & RM Charity, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and The RAF Benevolent Fund.

The RAF Benevolent Fund has also been involved in the two day CAMRA Beer Festival for the last six years. Held annually in October, this involvement has been translated into some very generous support via sponsors invited along and entertained on the day.

Local charities hold bucket collections at most of our race meetings. Over £400,000 has been raised. During Royal Ascot, the profit from all dress code sales is also donated.

We are very proud to have supported Richard Farquhar on his mission to walk 3,000 miles between all UK racecourses to raise vital funds for Pancreatic Cancer UK and Racing Welfare, as part of the Walking for Courses initiative in 2015.

For further information on our charitable activities or to request an application to be considered for funding, please contact [email protected]

[email protected]

At the Races

Royal Ascot

Since 2013, the racecourse has provided a spacious area for the local community, particularly parties of school children, to enjoy Royal Ascot with a perfect view to welcome the Royal Procession and watch the racing, free of charge.

Ascot Racedays – Heath Pass

The Heath is open for members of the public to enjoy year-round (with some event day restrictions). A Heath pass is required by local residents should they wish to use the Heath during the hours of racing (no Heath Pass is required at Royal Ascot). This can be applied for by clicking here

 

Clubs and Organisations

The following facilities are aided by Ascot Racecourse for local residents and organisations to enjoy:

Ascot Racecourse works closely with the Society for the Protection of Ascot and Environs (SPAE) a part charitable organisation who have operated as a watchdog for the protection of Ascot and the local area for the last 40 years.

Royal Ascot Cricket Club was formed on the Heath in 1883 and Ascot have continued to allow the club, which caters for colts and seniors, to occupy the same location for the benefit of the local community.

After the promotion of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd teams in 2015, last year was expected to be a challenging one for the club. The 1sts had a strong season in Division 2 finishing third just 7 points off another promotion.  The 2nds are being promoted for the second successive season, really emphasising the depth of talent the club is building.  The 3rds and 4ths were comfortably mid table and had relatively young squads.

The senior teams involved 11 players from the club's Colts teams which is a sign of the investment the club has made nurturing youth cricket in the local community.  Their programme of free coaching in local junior schools has helped grow the club's junior membership with particular success at the under 7 to 10 age groups.

Ascot United Football Club gained permission from Ascot in 1968 to establish a club on racecourse land for the benefit of young people. The racecourse continues to support the club and in 1990 backed the building of a new clubhouse. The club is now one of the largest in the country with over 750 registered players.

Ascot Locomotive Society is a donation funded club run by railway enthusiasts. They operate mini-trains on tracks laid on ground provided to the club by Ascot.

The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead operate the Ascot Durning Library and the Ascot Hall for local community hire from within racecourse owned premises. Activities which have operated from these premises include a youth club, yoga classes and live painting classes.

The Royal Ascot Golf Club was founded in 1887 and was originally on the Heath until redevelopment of the racecourse necessitated a move to the old Ascot Farm location off the Winkfield Road. Ascot Racecourse built the course for members to enjoy.

Horse Welfare

The safety and welfare of horses and jockeys is paramount throughout the year at Ascot and nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the changes made to the racing surface itself during the redevelopment (Ascot reopened in 2006).

The key elements of the project were to camber the home and old paddock bends and, crucially, to remove the road crossings over the track, replacing them with underpasses. This has created a safer race track for the horses, where previously some less experienced runners had occasionally shied at the differing surfaces.

Four specifically qualified equine vets (five for the major meetings including Royal Ascot), led by Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Svend Kold, are on duty every race day at Ascot, dedicated to the welfare of all the horses. During each race, vets follow the runners by car and can respond to and attend a casualty generally within a minute – as fast as the paramedic teams responsible for human casualties.

There are two equine ambulances (three for Royal Ascot) on course at all times and three ambulances for any incidents involving injuries to jockeys.

Ascot’s two permanent veterinary boxes are supplemented with an X-Ray machine for the major meetings to assist with swift diagnosis before administration of treatment on site or any movement necessary to equine hospitals.

The jockeys’ facilities at Ascot include a medical treatment room, rest rooms and a dedicated room for physiotherapy. During Royal Ascot, there are six doctors on site, led by Senior Racecourse Medical Officer, Dr Roger Goulds, specifically to deal with any jockey injuries.

Ascot are proud to support The Horse Comes First, a campaign run by leading organisations in British Horseracing to raise awareness of the high standards of equine welfare in the sport. The Horse Comes First aims to improve the understanding of the care given to our horses throughout and after their careers in racing. 

British Racing is among the world's best regulated animal activities. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is the Government recognised body responsible for the regulation of horseracing. Together with the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare, it is a leading signatory of the National Equine Welfare Protocol. 

 British Racing’s own self-imposed and enforced welfare standards far exceed existing national animal welfare legislation and among a population estimated to be around 1 million, racehorses in Britain are among the healthiest and best looked after 2% of horses in the country.

 The sport employs over 6,000 people to provide first class care and attention for the 14,000 horses in training and British Racing is committed to providing the best possible standards of veterinary care for its horses and has invested, via the Levy Board, over £32 million since 2000 in Veterinary Research and Education.

 Ascot hosts several pony racing events during the year, the most recent of which being the Racecourse Series; the showcase for pony racing talent. Ponies and riders have to be qualified to compete, and combinations accumulating the most points across the series are eligible to race at the Charles Owen Racecourse Series Finals held on Cheltenham Racecourse on 22 October 2016.

Tattersalls regularly hold Breeze Up Sales at Ascot.  Two year old unraced, unnamed horses gallop (breeze) over about 2 furlongs of the track. Prospective buyers or their agents can watch them do this, the horses are then put up for sale at an auction later.

Each horse, which will be allowed to breeze once, is filmed and timed so the buyers can compare each Lot. The horses are stabled in the stable yard in order that the buyers can also view them before the time of the auction.

One horse brought from the Breeze Up sale at Ascot in 2014 called The Wow Signal, had a very successful juvenile career, winning the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and a Group One race in France before retiring to stud.