Ripon Racecourse has been named as one of five finalists for 2016 RCA Showcase Award #TopSpot category after impressing the independent juding panel.
The seventh edition of the RCA Showcase and Awards ceremony will take place at Doncaster Racecourse on November 17.
Ripon Racecourse Marketing Manager, Erin Boswell, said: “We’re thrilled to be named as one of this year’s finalists; the idea of the floral gala at Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse was quite unique.
“We are in a very competitive industry and with the #TopSpot category being so broad, being named alongside initiatives from the likes of York and Ascot is the icing on the cake after a successful season.”
The #TopSpot category recognises standalone initiatives, large or small, that enrich the racecourse brand and/or raceday experience for customers, including innovative ideas, a novelty factor and problem solving.
Ripon’s shortlisted #TopSpot entry was their floral tribute to the winner of the feature race of the season, the William Hill Great St Wilfrid.
The floral gala is presented to the winning horses as they are greeted into the winner’s enclosure, an idea that originally stems from the American Breeders Cup which takes place in Santa Anita.
Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse wanted to make their feature race of the season even more spectacular and replicated the floral gala recognised in the racing world for its connection with one of the world’s most prestigious races, The Breeders Cup.
Vicky Smart, Wife of winning trainer Bryan Smart, said: “The highlight of the year was the floral award given by Ripon Racecourse to our Great St Wilfrid winner ‘Nameitwhatyoulike’ which made us feel like champions at the Kentucky Derby.
“The floral gala was handmade locally with individual flower heads and was displayed with pride in our yard at Hambleton for weeks afterwards and was only removed when the first storm of autumn threatened to carry it across the North York Moors.”
Racecourse Association Chairman, Maggie Carver, said: “It is an amazing achievement to be named as a finalist.”