The New Year celebrations went with extra fizz at Nottingham racecourse after the Colwick Park track achieved its highest aggregate crowd figure for nine years during 2015.
The total attendance of 34,139, which was up by more than six per cent over 2014, was buoyed by the highest single-day crowd for seven years, as well as the popularity of an array of other themed fixtures over the summer.
The highlights of 2015 included:
LADIES’ Day in May attracting the largest crowd to Colwick Park of any racing fixture since 2008;
THE new Nottinghamshire Oaks race being introduced in the summer, so there are now three Listed races at the course;
THE richest day’s racing ever being staged at the track in June. It was worth £95,500 in prize-money, as part of a season which offered a £1.1 million total prize fund;
AND the groundstaff being chosen as the best in Britain by the Institute of Groundsmanship.
General manager James Knox said: “It was a superb year at Nottingham racecourse, with many fantastic days of racing and entertainment for our visitors. We are already looking ahead with optimism to 2016 when we will again stage 23 fixtures, starting on Wednesday, April 6.”
The year 2015 was most encouraging not only for Colwick Park but also all the venues within its parent group. Jockey Club Racecourses, which runs the likes of Newmarket’s QIPCO Guineas Festival, the Cheltenham Festival, the Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree and the Investec Derby at Epsom within its nationwide portfolio, welcomed a record 1,946,644 people to 336 fixtures it staged.
As The Jockey Club is governed by Royal Charter to act for the long-term good of British racing, all profits generated by its racecourses are reinvested back into the nation’s second-biggest spectator sport.
The group has contributed more than £400 million in the last decade alone, predominantly through prize-money, to support the livelihoods of those who work in the sport and provide a return to racehorse owners, but also through investments in top-quality facilities for customers and participants.
Paul Fisher, managing director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “More people than ever before went racing with us in 2015 as a result of efforts to promote our thrilling sport and the experience we offer nationwide, and then giving people an excellent day out when they come racing with us.
“I’m very proud we’ve broken our attendance record in spite of slow economic growth and consumer confidence that isn’t exactly racing away. Our sales and marketing teams deserve huge credit, as well as our operations personnel for delivering great experiences.”