Musselburgh Racecourse awarded hat-trick of accolades
The East Lothian course was awarded Gold Standard status by the Racehorse Owners’ Association (ROA), one of only 12 UK courses to achieve the standard and ranked third behind York and sister course Chester.
Musselburgh was assessed as having an overall quality score of 89 per cent and received 100 per cent ratings in four categories including for cleanliness. The ROA said the Gold Standard was awarded to courses which provide an outstanding race day experience for owners and demonstrated a “truly exemplary performance”.
Sixty courses participated in the scheme scoring an average quality score of 80 per cent. Musselburgh achieved an 89 per cent rating with an owner’s feedback score of 4.4 out of five against an average score of 3.7 per cent.
The Racecourse Association’s (RCA) Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme assesses the raceday experience from the perspective of customers, with each racecourse visited by a trained assessor from VisitScotland. The assessments analyse all touchpoints of the customer experience including pre-raceday information, the on-course experience and post-raceday communications.
Musselburgh was awarded an RCA Excellence Accolade for its Staff Customer Service and also retained its five star visitor attraction status, meaning it is considered an “exceptional” venue by VisitScotland. The RCA said 2022 had been a particularly challenging year for sport and leisure venues, and the retention of the prestigious five star rating demonstrated the ongoing investment in Scotland into the raceday experience.
Paul Swain, the RCA’s raceday experience & communications manager, said: “The scheme demonstrates the RCA and its members’ ongoing commitment to reviewing and enhancing the raceday experience. It has been a challenging year for racecourses with inflation, soaring energy bills and the wider cost of living crisis. This, along with the difficulties of securing staff, has meant that racecourses have had to adapt and innovate to continue to offer the experiences our racegoers are accustomed to.”
VisitScotland’s quality assurance manager, Angie Fowler, commented: “We congratulate the Scottish racecourses in retaining their excellent quality visitor attraction ratings, with three of them retaining our top accolade.
“A commitment to quality is clearly demonstrated across these racecourses and in particular, their dedication to providing an inclusive and accessible experience for all visitors is helping to inspire other attractions across Scotland.
“Their determination to maintain and improve standards is about much more than just a star rating, it is about providing a visitor experience consistent in standards across all areas. Quality and value-for-money are important to consumers, especially during challenging economic times, and delivering experiences that meet and exceed visitor expectations is crucial in making Scotland a must-visit, must-return destination.”
Musselburgh Racecourse general manager, Bill Farnsworth, said: “It is important and useful to be able to measure our performance and the race day experience we offer across multiple metrics and I am delighted that Musselburgh continues to be one of the best performing and value for money sports and visitor attractions in the UK.
“The bar is set high but we are always striving to find new or improved ways of making sure everyone who visits Musselburgh, be that regular racegoers and owners or casual visitor, leaves feeling they have enjoyed the day and will want to return.
“Maintaining these high standards is only possible because of the energy and commitment of our permanent and race day staff who work with key partners to ensure consistent quality across all our operations and these awards are recognition of their efforts.”
East Lothian Courier