The track at Kelso that was in perfect condition for the valuable fixture on Sunday, October 6 – just as you would expect from the racecourse which has just been announced as the winner of the Racecourse Association’s ‘Jumps Track Groundstaff Award 2019’.

Jonathan Garratt, managing director of Kelso Races, said: “Everyone here at Kelso is immensely proud that the efforts of our groundstaff have been recognised in this way. They are an excellent team, they are always open to trying something new and, above all, they are dedicated to presenting the track in the best possible condition for our participants.”

Head groundsman, Brian Meikle, added: “The team have worked hard in all weather conditions and we take a lot of pride in everything we do. It’s great that we were nominated for the award by trainers who have run their horses here and it is humbling that the judges have singled out Kelso Racecourse for the award ahead of so many other hard-working tracks.”

In addition to providing a consistently good surface for racing, the groundstaff at Kelso have been complimented on their eagerness to innovate. Four seasons ago, the track was an early adopter of the new style of padded hurdles which have since been brought in at some larger racecourses, including Ascot.

And, last winter, it became the first racecourse in the country to deploy a lighting gantry to stimulate grass growth on the track during the darkest part of the year.