The 36th ROA Horseracing Awards took place at a glittering ceremony in Mayfair’s Intercontinental Hotel on Thursday 7 December. Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse took home a joint first with Musselburgh Racecourse in the Small Racecourse of the Year category. ROA Gold Standard Awards were announced earlier in the year, with all 12 eligible racecourses shortlisted into two categories – Small and Large Racecourse of the Year.
Bangor on Dee and sister course Chester were both awarded a Gold Standard in this year’s honours list, a first for Bangor-on-Dee in 2017, albeit a 10th consecutive year for Chester. The Gold Standard Award was established in 2006 to recognise excellence in the owners’ raceday experience, driving up standards and indeed competition between courses.
Representatives from Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse were in attendance to collect the award, including Racecourse Manager Jeannie Chantler, who said:
“We are thrilled to have been awarded joint first with Musselburgh in the Small Racecourse category. We have invested heavily this year in improving the experience owners receive through developing infrastructure at the course and making improvements to the complimentary package, ensuring owners leave happy.
“To be recognised at this level so soon after the works had taken place is testament to the efforts of the staff who were able to make it happen so quickly and cements the importance of the Owners experience at Bangor-on-Dee. We hope to be in the same position next year!”
Alan Pickering, chairman of the ROA Raceday Committee, said:
“Happy racehorse owners say that a good raceday experience is critical in maintaining their loyalty. 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 across the board amongst the smaller racecourses.
“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.”
Bangor-on-Dee shared their celebratory evening with Large Racecourse of the Year winners Cheltenham and a number of equine champions including winner of Horse of the Year; Enable.
Bangor-on-Dee’s Owners and Trainers Facility is sponsored by Yorton Stud based at Leighton, Near Welshpool, who are committed as a long-term affiliated partner and supporting the facility for the next five years. During this time, there are plans to further develop the facilities and grow the relationship between the two parties.
David Futter owner of Yorton said “It was a natural decision for us to partner with Bangor-On-Dee. As one of the leading National Hunt stud farms in Britain we are committed to improving the owners experience from sourcing their next horse right through to the end racecourse experience. It is important that we as an industry pull together and support such initiatives for its long-term future. We are looking forward to a long and happy association with the course.”