Plumpton racecourse named as one of top ten visitor attraction racecourses

The Racecourse Association  has declared Plumpton Racecourse has been named as one of the top ten visitor attraction racecourses in England and Wales, as judged by VisitEngland in 2013.

The paddock at Plumpton racecourse

The paddock at Plumpton racecourse

Providing an independent assessment of racecourse quality for visitors since 2009, VisitEngland’s Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme guarantees standards for customers of English and Welsh racecourses based on a number of criteria.

These include the efficiency and friendliness of customer service and the availability and cleanliness of facilities. VisitEngland included Owners and Trainers facilities in their assessments for the first time in 2013 contributing to overall scores.

The top ten racecourses marked highest by VisitEngland in 2013 are, in alphabetical order, Ascot, Doncaster, Epsom Downs, Exeter, Newmarket, Plumpton, Salisbury, Wincanton, Royal Windsor and York. Plumpton and Salisbury are newcomers to the top ten and all registered exceptionally according to the judges.

Plumpton’s chief executive Michael Moloney said: “This is a great achievement for Plumpton and especially for the staff who make it all happen. We are continually seeking to improve the Plumpton experience for racegoers and horsemen alike, with the opening of our new entrance building and redesigned paddock significantly adding to the experience this season.”

Plumpton Chief Executive Mike Moloney beside the new winners enclosure, opened in time for last season

Plumpton Chief Executive Mike Moloney beside the new winners’ enclosure, opened in time for last season

“Having been a ‘hidden gem’ of English racing for a while, it’s very nice to receive wider public recognition. Plumpton is highly regarded in the world of horseracing and it’s good to become better known outside the sector too. Our reputation will only be enhanced further as we continue to improve the raceday experience in preparation for our opening meeting of the season on Sunday 21st September 2014.”

RCA Racecourse Services Director, Caroline Davies said : “we are delighted to be able to continue our partnership with VisitEngland to offer customers a guarantee of quality when they visit British racecourses.  This scheme, along with the one run by VisitScotland makes sure that racecourses are able to get constructive feedback which they can use to help them identify their strengths as well as areas that may need improvement.

“The variety in the racecourses that have made the top ten in 2013 is testament to the idea that you don’t need to be a big racecourse to offer a top quality visitor attraction.”

New  entrance at Plumpton

New entrance at Plumpton

One of the most compact National Hunt racecourses in Britain, Plumpton is an undulating, tightish left-handed circuit of just over a mile. Horseracing first took place there in 1884. The credit for this unique course’s survival and transformation into one of the most characterful racecourses in England is largely due to four men.

Firstly, Thomas Henry Case who in 1876 founded the venue as the first enclosed hare coursing meeting and subsequently, in 1884, introduced horse racing.  Secondly, Isidore Kerman, who bought the course in 1961 and brought about many of the improvements that were needed to ensure the Course’s survival and finally to Peter Savill and Adrian Pratt who purchased the course in 1998 again to ensure its economic survival and protect it from the developers.

The course is adjacent to Plumpton railway station, served by hourly trains from London Victoria to Lewes and Eastbourne, which makes it a convenient day trip from London.

A full list of events at Plumpton can be found at: http://plumptonracecourse.co.uk/tickets

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