Known as the ‘Garden Racecourse’, Ripon’s racecourse is situated close to the historic town of Ripon in one of North Yorkshire’s most picturesque locations and hosts a number of exciting races throughout the year.
The course is a flat oval of 1 mile 5 furlongs with a sharp bend preceding the 5 furlong run in. The racecourse is particularly proud of its giant screen which, situated opposite the main stand, broadcasts all the action from the racecourse as well as showing coverage of important meetings happening around the country.
Ripon racecourse as it is known today opened at Boroughbridge Road on August 6, 1900 but the town has a history of horseracing which dates back to 1664 when it hosted its first meeting on Bondgate Green.
Following its inaugural meeting, Ripon held races at various locations, gaining national attention in 1723 when it hosted Britain’s first horse race for female jockeys. Since moving to its permanent home at the turn of the century, Ripon has been host to races and special events each year and has built up a large body of loyal race fans.
During the mid sixties a Racegoers Club was formed at the racecourse with the aim of encouraging racing followers in their passion and to give fans a voice at national horseracing committee meetings. In 2003, reflecting the popularity of the association, the Racegoers Club voted Ripon the ‘Best Small Racecourse in the North’ in honour of the facilities, activities and events offered by the racecourse.
Ripon hosts a number of well-known flat races throughout the year, many of which reflect Ripon’s rich heritage in their names.
Great St. Wilfred Stakes
One of Ripon’s most notable races is the Great St. Wilfred Stakes. Taking its name from St Wilfred, patron saint of Ripon, the Great St. Wilfred Stakes is a flat handicap sprint and the most valuable race to take place at the racecourse each year. Held in the middle of August, the race is run by thoroughbreds of three years old and above over a distance of 6 furlongs
Ripon Champion Two-Year-Old Trophy: The last race to be held in August, the winner is presented with a magnificent gold trophy, making the race one of Ripon’s most popular and exciting events of the year.
The Bell-Ringer Stakes: Raced over a distance of 12 furlongs, the Bell-Ringer Stakes (referring to Ripon’s historic cathedral) is a handicap race, which is held every year at the beginning of July.
The Ripon Rowels Stakes: Referring to Ripon’s ancient craft of spur making, the Ripon Rowels Stakes is held annually at the end of August.
For information about races or for general enquiries visit Ripon’s official website or contact the racecourse by:
- Post: Ripon Race Company Ltd, 77, North Street, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 1DS
- Telephone: 01765 602 156
- Fax: 01765 690 018
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ripon is easily accessed by road but is difficult to get to by any form of public transport, with the nearest train stations situated 11 miles away at Harrogate and Thirsk.
When approaching Ripon from the south leave the Al at the junction sign posted Ripon just before Boroughbridge and follow signs marked Ripon Cathedral. After approximately four miles the racecourse should become visible on the left hand side.
When approaching Ripon from the north leave the A1 as it intersects with the A61 and continue along the A61 as it becomes the Ripon bypass. At the third roundabout take the first exit (left) and the racecourse should soon become visible on the right hand side.
When approaching Ripon from the East or West take the A61 towards Ripon and follow the brown signs to the race course.
The admission price to the racecourse varies according to the stand, each of which offers different amenities:
- Price: £18 (normal race days) £21 (feature race days)
- Amenities: Club dining room, self service restaurant, main club stand bar, Champagne Bar
- Stand: Covered seated grandstand with big screen
- Dress Code: Smart casual
- Extras: Access to all areas, free race card
- Price: £12 (normal race days) £14 (feature race days) £8 (senior citizens)
- Amenities: Self service restaurant, main bar, beer and snack bar, fish and chip shop
- Stand Covered grandstand with big screen
- Dress Code: None
- Extras Access to parade ring
- Price: £5 (all race days) £15 (for car and up to 4 adults)
- Amenities: Refreshment bar
- Stand: Raised embankment
- Dress Code: None
- Extras: None