Ayr Racecourse has won one of the most prestigious honours in
the racing industry - the Neil Wyatt Ground Staff Award for the
Best Dual Purpose Course.
This is only the second time Ayr has received this recognition -
having previously been successful in 1996, the inaugural year of
Clerk of the Course Emma Marley said : "We are overjoyed to be
voted winners of the Neil Wyatt Dual Purpose Racecourse Award for
2010. The Grounds Team have worked remarkably hard over the past
year to achieve wondrous results with the racing surface and to
restore confidence within the racing community.
"Ayr Racecourse Directors have, and continue to be, extremely
supportive of our initiatives and have invested significantly to
enhance the racing surface and introduce portable fences. We would
like to thank all Trainers, Jockeys and Owners who have supported
us over the year and who have made this industry recognition
The Judging Panel was pleased to reward the significant
improvements at Ayr Racecourse. In particular they recognised
the professionalism, level of investment and communication by the
racecourse which has resulted in strong support for the team from
trainers and jockeys.
Judging of the awards took place on Thursday 20 January 2011 and
the panel comprised representatives of the National Trainers
Federation and Professional Jockeys' Association, with support from
the BHA Inspectors of Courses. The Awards, organised by the
Racecourse Association and sponsored by Pitchcare.com in
association with ALS and Fornells, are in their fifteenth year and
recognise the achievements of racecourse groundstaff.
Richard Linley, Senior BHA Inspector of Courses, said: "The
vagaries of the British climate have yet again challenged
Groundsmen around the country during 2010, the huge effort and
commitment demonstrated by those Groundsmen to their Racecourses
never ceases to amaze me. It must never be forgotten that it can be
just as difficult to manage sports turf in the height of summer as
well as in the depths of winter, swapping frost covers for
irrigation equipment and in each case trying to manage the
expectations of all the participants and customers. There are
only three Official winners, but there are many winners in my eyes,
and appropriate this year that the All Weather Courses are
recognised for their significant contribution to the industry
during 2010 with special Merit Awards."
Rupert Arnold, of the National Trainers Federation, said:
"Reading the nominations I was struck by the amount of good work
going on around the racecourses by very dedicated teams of
groundstaff. Much of this is unseen by those outside racecourses
and the great value of the Neil Wyatt Groundstaff Awards is they
bring the outstanding examples to a wider audience"
Dale Gibson from the Professional Jockeys' Association said "We
have all appreciated the hard work and commitment that Groundstaff
put in day in, day out. Recently the severe weather has made their
job harder. The PJA recognize that, and in our eyes the majority of
courses are all winners. The four safety officers submitted
their nominations to those tracks that they thought were
outstanding, which all received recognition."
Other awards went to Salisbury for the best flat track and
Market Rasen for the best jumps track.