York Racecourse is delighted to have been ranked in the top ten racecourses for raceday experience. 

2023 Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme Results Revealed 

The Racecourse Association’s (RCA) Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme (QARS) has revealed the top 10 racecourses for raceday experience in England & Wales and the results from the assessments in Scotland.


The QARS, established in 2013, gives every racecourse the opportunity to have its raceday experience objectively assessed by a trained assessor from VisitEngland Assessment Services (England and Wales) or VisitScotland (Scotland). The assessments analyse all customer touchpoints including pre-raceday information, the ticket buying process, the on-course experience and post-raceday communications.


2023 saw the average score achieved by racecourses rise 5% to 81%, and an increase in the award of RCA Excellence Accolades, which are bolt-on awards specific areas of exceptional quality.


VisitEngland Assessment Services, responsible for all assessments in England and Wales, confirmed the top 10 racecourse for raceday experience in 2023 were (alphabetised): Aintree, Beverley, Chelmsford City, Chester, Haydock Park, Ludlow, Newbury, Newmarket (Rowley Mile)*, Salisbury and York. Six of these racecourses, along with Newmarket’s July Course, were also listed in the top 10 in 2022, showing their commitment to continual improvement and providing racegoers with the highest quality raceday experience.


Ludlow Racecourse, a new addition to the top 10 racecourses, was also crowned the most-improved racecourse in 2023, delivering a friendly, and memorable raceday to increase its score by an inspiring 19 percentage points.


In Scotland, all five racecourses were judged as ‘excellent’ or ‘exceptional’ venues by VisitScotland. Ayr, Hamilton Park and Musselburgh retained the coveted five-star visitor attraction rating with the latter two increasing their already impressive scores year-on-year. It was also a strong year for Kelso and Perth with both courses being awarded four-star visitor attraction status.


In addition, RCA Excellence Accolades were presented to racecourses that excelled in specific areas of the assessments. These accolades were available to all participating racecourses and were presented at the 2023 RCA Showcase & Awards Seminar at Aintree Racecourse in November. 


York recieved RCA Excellence Accolades for: 

Taste of Racecourses: Food

Taste of Racecourses: Bar

Spotless & Sparkling


The QARS is an important investment by the RCA, providing it with an objective view of customer experience across its member racecourses and enabling it to understand year-on-year trends. The RCA will continue to work closely with racecourses in 2024 to address common challenges and continue to enhance the raceday experience.


Paul Swain, RCA Head of Raceday Experience & Communications, said: “We are delighted to share results of this long-standing scheme to recognise exceptional customer experiences. Working alongside globally recognised assessors of quality VisitEngland Assessment Services and VisitScotland allows racecourses to receive a genuine barometer of their raceday experience, an area of vital importance as we collaborate to grow the sport.


“The increase in overall scores plus the additional Excellence Accolades awarded are testament to the investment put into raceday experience by racecourses, and the RCA will continue to work alongside its members to maintain this positive trend.”

Simon Numphud FIH, Managing Director, AA Media Limited, commented: "The professional assessments undertaken by VisitEngland Assessment Services once again demonstrated a high level of consistency in the raceday experience. It reflects the hard work of teams across racecourses and the focus they place on customer experience and delivering a fantastic day out.  It was a pleasure to see so many of these courses recognised at the annual showcase event at Aintree back in November and our congratulations to the top ten courses."


Rob Dickson, Director of Industry and Destination Development at VisitScotland, said: “Congratulations to the Scottish racecourses for their RCA Excellence Accolades and continuing to deliver exceptional standards in tourism.


“Staff should be proud of their commitment to providing a high-quality experience, which supports our national strategy to deliver a world-class visitor destination for all.”