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ROA Gold Standard Award

The pinnacle of racehorse ownership is going racing with a runner. The raceday experience should be an enjoyable one, and many of Britain’s 60 racecourses offer owners with a runner an unforgettable day.

Chester atmospherePictured right: The Owners' Pavilion at Chester is one of the premier raceday dining experiences amongst Britain's racecourses. The ROA Gold Standard Award for racecourses was established in 2006 to recognise excellence in the owners’ raceday experience, and it has been assisting in driving up standards at racecourses across the country ever since. In order for the Gold Standard to remain a positive force for change it has had to evolve, and so since 2015 the number of Gold Standard Awards given annually has been capped at 12 tracks. These have been divided into Large and Small racecourses, with 6 in each category been awarded the accolade.

The 2017 Gold Standard Award winners are:

Large Racecourses

  • Ascot
  • Ayr
  • Cheltenham
  • Chester
  • Haydock Park
  • York

Overall winner: CHELTENHAM

Cheltenham has been voted the Large Racecourse of the Year. This is in response to the tremendous investment they have made in recent years for the full extent of the owners’ experience, from entrance to dining to – if lucky enough – winning. They have also not been shy in upping their prize-money, and all of these efforts have not been in vain. There may have been disappointment at not securing the Gold Standard Award during their development stage, but this accolade goes to prove that any racecourse, with the right attitude and investment, will be recognised. Cheltenham has gone out of its way to make owners feel special, whatever the outcome of the race. Their attentiveness and co-operative spirit are veritable beacons.

Small Racecourses

  • Bangor-on-Dee
  • Bath
  • Hamilton Park
  • Market Rasen
  • Musselburgh
  • Sedgefield

Joint overall winners: BANGOR-ON-DEE and MUSSELBURGH

Bangor-on-Dee and Musselburgh have been voted the joint winners of the Small Racecourse of the Year. Their dead heat epitomises the increase in standards virtually across the board amongst the smaller racecourses. No form of modern technology could have split this dead heat, and tossing a coin would have devalued the concept.

Bangor’s new Owners’ restaurant has proved to be one of the best-received improvements across all racecourses by the ROA membership. Combine it with a friendly and proactive workforce, complimentary wine and entertainment of placed connections, and you have a winning combination.

Musselburgh is one of the most consistently high-scoring racecourses according to the ROA members, and they demonstrate a fantastic can-do attitude throughout the levels of management. Their winners experience is universally praised, as is the owners’ lunch, and they couldn’t help but be declared winners also.

From 1st January the hunt will be on to find the 2018 Gold Standard Award winners. Once again the ROA Raceday Committee will be visiting every racecourse before the end of September, and assessing as to its suitability as a candidate for the 2018 Gold Standard Award, before the final decisions are made in October.

The assessment forms used by the Committee are available here as PDF's:

  Large course Gold Standard assessment form

  Small Course Gold Standard assesement form

To view the facilities at each racecourse please click here.

Within the Owners Guide to Racecourses, each course has an item called Track Talk, which lists all of the latest racecourse developments affecting racehorse owners.




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