HARD-WORKING ground staff at Ascot Racecourse have been honoured in the Racecourse Groundstaff Awards and are given a celebratory plaque.

Ground staff at Ascot Racecourse have celebrated the start of the turf flat season by picking up the award for a dual-purpose racecourse.

Bill Watt and Tom Challinor were on hand during the presentation party to hand over the plaque to Head Groundsman Reon Sanford and the rest of his team.

John Richards, operations director of sponsors at Pitchcare, said: “Last year was a very difficult one for all racecourse ground staff; a very cold spring followed by a very dry summer.

“Despite these challenges, the work of the team at Ascot was exceptional, providing a top-class surface throughout the year which has earned it this richly deserved accolade.”

Upon winning the award in 2018, the judges believe the racecourse surface is in top quality condition.

They said: “Ascot produced a top-class racing surface throughout the year and the course during Royal Ascot was impeccable. Despite only having 1.6mm of rain in June, the surface was consistent and safe throughout the five days.

“Their scientific approach to turf husbandry is one we encourage all racecourses to employ and the results have made a significant improvement to the racing surface.

"Ascot excels in the Continuing Professional Development of their team, showcased most recently when two members of the team were sent on a study tour to Sydney and Melbourne to learn more about international practices of turf husbandry.”

Holly Cook, the Racecourse services manager believes the awards recognises the commitment of the ground staff.

She added: “the Racecourse ground staff Awards recognise the exceptional commitment, dedication and excellence of Racecourse grounds staff at British Racecourses, and we were thrilled to be able to celebrate the presentation of the Award for best dual-purpose racecourse 2018 to the ground staff Team at Ascot Racecourse.”

For more information, visit: https://www.ascot.co.uk/.