‘A triumph through adversity’: Ripon Racecourse commends community for an incredible 2023 season despite weather being wettest on record

Ripon Racecourse has been “astonished” by the community's generosity in donations on the season's finale and has labelled this year as “a triumph through adversity”.
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The racecourse team wants to thank race-goers for their “incredible turnout” despite one of the wettest summers on record.

The Ripon venue, which had previously been responsible for delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, said it feels “incredibly positive” after the year's biggest turnout since the pandemic.

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For the first time this year the final day’s celebrations were in collaboration with Ripon Community House, in light of struggles felt by the cost of living crisis.

Ripon Racecourse on the final day of the season. Photo by Nick LancasterRipon Racecourse on the final day of the season. Photo by Nick Lancaster
Ripon Racecourse on the final day of the season. Photo by Nick Lancaster

The racecourse has been “overwhelmed” by support from the city's close community during the season, which ran from April through to September.

Johnathan Mullin, marketing manager at Ripon Racecourse, said: “We had a harvest festival this year, which we will run every year now in conjunction with Community House.

“We were astonished - we filled an entire car full of donations, which was amazing.

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“It's the first year we’ve done it and it will continue now.

“We do recognise that we are part of the community.

“We think it's important that we get involved in any way we can.

“As we are not central, it’s often not possible to get involved with other events.

“This was something we could do to help the community and raise awareness.

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“Every race day we have a charity that comes in but this time we wanted to do something for a more local group.

“Community House is such a brilliant organisation.

“This was the wettest year that we’ve had in a long time and, being an outdoor venue, it can be a major factor for people, especially last minute ticket buyers.

“But people have very much come back to racing this year.

“We try hard to be accessible for all disabilities and have regular family days so everyone can get involved.”

The racecourse is “extremely proud” of its geographical position next to the Wetlands Nature Reserve and understands its responsibility to look after “such a beautiful green area” and stay environmentally conscious.

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Although restrictions were fully lifted in 2022, the venue's seasonal attendance mirrored a very cautious public when it came to returning back to “the new normal”.

Mr Mullin said: “We feel incredibly positive after this year's remarkable turnout, and despite the terrible weather, which plays a huge role for us.

People have been very supportive and booked in advance, which allows us to add additional entertainment to create a memorable atmosphere for everybody.

“It's just a triumph through adversity, having recognised that people are finding it difficult with the cost of living crisis.

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"People have still managed to come and enjoy themselves, it was just amazing.”

The venue received feedback from race lovers following a survey it conducted, positive comments the racecourse will “proudly” carry into next year’s season.

He said: “With this success we have been able to come up with our fixtures for next year.

“We’re already looking ahead following advanced bookings, which is incredible.”

Ripon Racecourse will now “top and tail” every year with an extra special event.

Details of the season opener for 2024 will be revealed soon.

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