Ripon racecourse shortlisted for national awards

The groundstaff at Ripon racecourse
The groundstaff at Ripon racecourse

Ripon Racecourse has been named in the final three for the 2017 IOG John Deere Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year at the prestigious IOG Awards.

The shortlist, which consists of three finalists from the 61 racecourses in the UK, is the highlight of the horse racing calendar for the grounds teams who are often the unsung heroes of the racecourses.

The IOG industry-wide annual awards recognise the important contribution made by groundscare staff in raising industry standards and encouraging greater professionalism within the industry.

The Ripon groundstaff team, which is headed up by Head Groundsman Carl Tonks, look after the privately owned site at Ripon which covers 280 acres. The team, which includes four full time members of staff, work all year round to facilitate 17 days of horse racing in addition to a range of non-racing and community based events which include National Triathlons, Police/Army training and Championship Dog Shows.

They will be up against the racecourse groundstaff teams form Nottingham and Sandown Park.

James Hutchinson, Ripon racecourse managing director and clerk of the course, said: “This is a tremendous achievement for the team to be recognised in such a way for the hard work and dedication put in through the long season.”

Carl Tonks, Ripon racecourse head groundsman at Ripon Racecourse, said: “Our team is truly honoured to be shortlisted this year and its worthy praise to the dedication of all the staff involved here at Ripon. The support of the industry by the IOG is insurmountable in its promotion of the efforts of world class groundstaff.”

Independent judging at each venue will now take place. The winners will be announced on Wednesday 1 November.