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.
The then Plumpton Racecourse 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.”
“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.
Plumpton Racecourse has received official recognition from the national tourist board since 2010.
VisitEngland annually assess Plumpton Racecourse, following the launch of the first ever quality scheme for sport.
Areas under assessment included pre-arrival information, the racecourse’s website, journey planning, signage, welcome on arrival, the actual sporting event, toilets, catering and retail outlets.
After passing the assessments, the racecourse has been awarded a VisitEngland plaque illustrated by the organisation’s red rose logo.
James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland, said: “England has a world famous sporting heritage and for many parts of the country horse racing is at the core of the community. I can’t think of a more thrilling day out than a day at the races.
“The VisitEngland quality rose marque provides a recognised stamp of approval showing visitors that Plumpton Racecourse has been assessed along similar lines to a more traditional type of visitor attraction providing regular racegoers and first time visitors alike with a high quality, highly memorable experience.”
Claire Sheppard, the then Chief Executive of Plumpton Racecourse, said: “I am delighted with the results of our assessment which took place on one of busiest days of the year (Ladies Day) and demonstrated that our staff provide an excellent experience for our visitors. The friendliness and helpfulness of Plumpton’s staff drew particular praise from the assessor.”
“This independent assessment, alongside a suggestions scheme from both racecourse customers and staff provides us with very valuable feedback on how we can continuously improve in order to offer an even better day out at the races.”
“The VisitEngland Quality Assured plaque will act as a stamp of approval showing visitors that a day’s racing is a quality experience and great value for money