York Groundstaff wins National Award

The Groundstaff at York Racecourse have been recognised by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) for their hard work during the 2014 season. They collected the prestigious IOG John Deere Professional Horse Racing Grounds Team of the Year Award at a Gala Dinner on 4 December.

This latest award follows the recognition of the Head Groundsman at York, Adrian Kay, in the same awards last year, when he was became the first from the racing world to land the coveted overall national title of ‘The Alex R Miller Award’ for being Professional Groundsman of the Year.  

Once again a judging panel of turf professionals and head groundsmen from some of Britain’s best known sports stadia assessed the finalists over a number of criteria as well as a site visit.

Head Gardener, Zac Rafferty, is a member of the groundstaff enjoying a fruitful awards season, as his skills in decorating a wooden rubbish bin crafted by the carpenters at the Knavesmire also won national recognition at the Racecourse Association Showcase in November. Earlier in the year, Zac also won a Gold Award from the Yorkshire in Bloom judges.

Collecting the award, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course, William Derby said, “It’s been a busy year for the groundstaff and everyone at the course, with some wonderful equine stars, 336,000 racegoers and the added excitement of starting the Tour de France. So I’m delighted that the efforts of Team York have been recognised in this Award and our other nominations at the end of another successful season.”