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Ripon Racecourse

Published on: 20/11/2016

Located in Ripon, North Yorkshire, Ripon Racecourse is also affectionately known as “Yorkshires Garden Racecourse” because of the well-maintained lawns and flowerbeds. The thoroughbred horse racing venue stages flat racing events on its right-handed oval track over a distance of one mile and five furlongs. It also features a six-furlong chute and a five-furlong finishing straight. The racecourse hosts 17 meetings per season throughout its racing calendar including notable summer meetings the Ripon Champion Two-Years-Old Trophy and the Great St. Wilfrid Stakes.

Horse racing activity on Ripon’s Bondgate Green is thought to have taken place as early as 1664. Other sites within the area were being used for race meetings over the following two centuries. In 1723, local spectators at one particular meeting event watched history unfold as Britain’s first ever race for female jockeys took place. Ripon was also the first location to introduce a Children’s Day Meeting which is still being enjoyed today.

Evidence of a racecourse can be seen on an old OS map, dated 1856. It shows a course on the north side of the river Ure next to the road to Thirsk and the train station. Ripon Racecourse was founded at Boroughbridge Road in 1900, and staged its first race in the same year. Some of the venue’s race names derive from local historical occurrences and people such as the William Hill Great St. Wilfrid Handicap Stakes, which was founded in 1986 and named after the town’s patron saint. Other examples are the Ripon Rowels, named after the famous 16th and 17th century “Rowels Spurs”; and the Horn Blower Stakes, named after Ripon’s famous “Ripon Watchman”. Another highlight is the Ripon Champion Two-Year-Old Trophy, a prestigious event where the winner receives a Gold Cup.

Ripon Racecourse has gained an outstanding reputation and has even received the “Best Small Racecourse in the North” award on half-a-dozen occasions. As well as thousands of race goers, Ripon Racecourse has also welcomed many talented trainers and jockeys over the years. Ripon Racecourse’s seasonal calendar includes The Ripon Cock O’ The North Handicap in April; Traditional Family Day in May; Evening Racing, Afternoon Racing and Ladies Day in June; Blues Brothers Evening and Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival in July; Alice in Wonderland Family Day, William Hill Great St. Wilfrid Handicap, Ripon Champion Two-Year-Old Trophy and Afternoon Racing in August; and the season-ending Theakston’s BBQ ‘n’ Beer Festival in September.

There are three Enclosures to choose from at Ripon Racecourse. The Club Stand is a premium enclosure which allows access to the Winning Post and Parade Ring. The Paddock Enclosure provides access to the main areas of the racecourse as well as the Parade Ring, where glimpses of the horses can be enjoyed along with spectacular views of the track.

The third enclosure is known as the Course Enclosure. It is the least formal of the three enclosures and is extremely popular on the Family and Feature race days. The Course Enclosure provides some cover but is also an ideal spot for picnicking. Ripon Racecourse also boasts a huge television screen so racing enthusiasts can see all of the action.

All of the enclosures provide various dining options, from the Silks & Saddles Restaurant and self-service restaurants to buffets and Fish ’n’ Chips. Further snack options are available along with picnic facilities. There are many bars and cafes on site offering alcoholic beverages and afternoon tea.

In addition to the venue’s fantastic facilities, Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse also provides an excellent range of hospitality services such as private boxes, rooms, suites and marquees for hire on race days.

Tickets can be purchased on the day, subject to availability, or pre-booked with a discount. There are a variety of packages to choose from such as platinum, gold, silver or bronze packages. In addition, there is the BBQ Packages available during the summer months.

Published on: 20/11/2016 © Bet Bind
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