The Ascot Racecourse Groundstaff team celebrated the start of the turf flat season by lifting the Racecourse Groundstaff Award for dual-purpose racecourse, sponsored by Pitchcare, Watt Fences and Fornells.

A presentation party, including sponsors Bill Watt and Tom Challinor, were on hand to award the celebratory plaque to Head Groundsman Reon Sanford and his team during May Racing Weekend on Friday 10th May.

Upon winning the award in 2018, the judges commented: “Ascot produced a top-class racing surface throughout the year and the course during Royal Ascot was impeccable. Despite only having 1.6mm of rain in June, the surface was consistent and safe throughout the five days.

“Their scientific approach to turf husbandry is one we encourage all racecourses to employ and the results have made a significant improvement to the racing surface. Ascot excels in the Continuing Professional Development of their team, showcased most recently when two members of the team were sent on a study tour to Sydney and Melbourne to learn more about international practices of turf husbandry.”

John Richards, Operations Director of sponsors Pitchcare, commented: “Last year was a very difficult one for all racecourse groundstaff; a very cold spring followed by a very dry summer. Despite these challenges, the work of the team at Ascot was exceptional, providing a top-class surface throughout the year which has earned it this richly deserved accolade.”

Holly Cook, Racecourse Services Manager at the RCA, added: “The Racecourse Groundstaff Awards recognise the exceptional commitment, dedication and excellence of Racecourse Groundstaff at British Racecourses, and we were thrilled to be able to celebrate the presentation of the Award for best dual-purpose racecourse 2018 to the Groundstaff Team at Ascot Racecourse.”

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