Ripon Racecourse is a Finalist for a national award, it has been announced. Their #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.
Erin Boswell, Marketing Executive of Ripon Racecourse 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
At the end of the evening one racecourse will be named overall Showcase Champion, as decided by an independent judging panel comprised of Alan Park (Operations Director, Center Parcs UK), Rebecca Joy (Group Guest Services and Hospitality Director, European Tour and Ryder Cup Europe), Jenny McGee (Director of Enterprise, VisitEngland), Steve Brice (Chief Executive, Pharaoh Global), Will Collinson (UK Director of Client Engagement, Corbis) and Paul Duffy (Racehorse Owners Association Council).
Racecourse Services Director Caroline Davies commented:
We are delighted to announce the finalists for the 2015 Showcase & Awards, the only recognised industry awards for British Racecourses. The depth of quality in this year’s submissions was greater than ever, meaning the racecourses that have been listed as finalists are all genuine examples of excellence and innovation.
Racecourses were invited to submit entries to the core Showcase Awards, with #TopSpots being submitted throughout the year via social media. The racegoing public also had their say, with nominations from ROA members and the general racing public in the ROA Owners’ Experience and Racing Post Readers’ Awards respectively. The Showcase Awards will also pay homage to the Groundstaff teams across British Racing, with the Groundstaff Champions being crowned.
The Showcase Awards follow on from a daytime seminar of sharing best practice in delivering an exemplary customer experience, with key themes this year being the ‘power of the brand’ and the ‘art of showmanship’. Guest speakers include Arsenal FC, Wembley Park, Channel 4 Racing and Great British Racing.