OBE for racecourse chairman in New Year Honours

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Wetherby Racecourse has started the New Year with a double victory when it was voted Best Small Racecourse in the North by the Racegoers Club and its chairman received an OBE.

John Sanderson has been awarded an OBE for his services to racing over a 40-year period in the New Year’s Honours List.

wet  Boxing Day crowds at Wetherby Races.  (121226M2d)

wet Boxing Day crowds at Wetherby Races. (121226M2d)

Mr Sanderson, who is chief executive of International Racecourse Management, which manages several Yorkshire racecourses, is still involved in the day-to-day running of Wetherby Racecourse as well as several other Yorkshire racecourses.

His son, Jonjo Sanderson, who is the chief executive of Wetherby Racecourse, told the News: “I am delighted with this award and delighted for my dad.

“We have lost a couple of meetings this year due to the weather but we take great pride from this award because principally it is awarded by our regular race-going customers.

“In a year when the weather has proved extremely testing, I know everyone at Wetherby is extremely delighted to receive this award and it is much deserved.”

The racecourse, whose Boxing Day Christmas ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ meeting went ahead despite doubts after heavy flooding in the area, previously won the award in 2010.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This double celebration and victory for Wetherby really puts it on the map. It also recognises the strength of racing in Yorkshire.”

Wetherby’s MP Alec Shelbrooke told the News: “The Racecourse is no longer a hidden gem on the edge of our town but has become the best Northern course for good racing, great facilities and fantastic customer service.”