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Press Release 11th October 2016 Wincanton

Tuesday, 11th October 2016 – On Friday, 14th October not only will Wincanton Racecourse celebrate the new 2016 / 2017 jump season, but the Somerset track will also welcome an abundance of fresh changes that is set to make the sport more accessible to a greater audience.


For the first time ever for a Jockey Club Racecourse, Wincanton will operate a one enclosure admission for all midweek fixtures. With a £14 per person entry price, racegoers will be able to enjoy 11 midweek racedays where the Premier and Grandstand Enclosures become one throughout a season that is to enjoy 18 meetings in total from October 2016 to May 2017.

Huw Williams, General Manager of Wincanton Racecourse, comments on the initiative: “I am delighted that The Jockey Club is supporting this initiative to drive mid-week attendance.

“Racing should be accessible to all and by operating with one enclosure for all midweek fixtures racegoers will have the chance to enjoy the widest choice of viewing and refreshment options on course.”

2016 / 2017 FIXTURES

This season, Wincanton returns with 18 fixtures that comprises of 11 midweek racedays, six premier meetings that include the Combat Stress Families and Armed Forces Raceday (23rd October), the Badger Ales Day (5th November), February’s Champion Kingwell Hurdle to racing on St George’s Day (23rd April) when the Somerset track will host their inaugural Military Race for past and servicing officers.

Racing on Boxing Day continues to be a feature raceday with the course looking to build on their regular biggest yearly attendance. 

Throughout October, Wincanton continues to provide the noteworthy £10 discount on Boxing Day tickets - seeing entry to the Somerset attraction available from £10pp Grandstand and £17pp for Premier Enclosure. Discounted prices are valid until Monday, 31st October with the price reverting back to £18/£25pp from 1st November in advance and £20/£27 on the day.

To book please visit or call 0344 579 3014.

Other changes to the racing schedule, implemented because of the calendar year, are three December race meetings (1st, 13th & 26th) and three March meetings (1st, 9th, & 26th).



Within the fortnight, gallant thoroughbreds will be charging down the home straight having encountered and overcome Wincanton’s infamous obstacles, which are renowned for ‘taking some jumping.’  This season, the course has acquired 40 fresh hurdles that measure in at three foot six inches and has built five bespoke fences which stand at four foot six inches high.

Over the summer, the ground team have undertaken general maintenance that includes fertilising the entire course, cutting and spiking to assist drainage and the general well being of the turf.

On site, Wincanton winners will enjoy a glass of champagne in a new Winning Connections facility located on the ground floor within the Kingwell building.  Formerly the Paddock Bar, the new and larger facility overlooks the Parade Ring and will be a welcoming home for the winners and race sponsors.

Other changes, sees the jockey’s facilities being extended at Wincanton Racecourse with a new, independent rest room and canteen.  This relaxation area will give jockeys that ride at Wincanton the chance to focus on their role in a comfortable environment and refresh, rehydrate and refuel at their leisure.

Paul Struthers, Chief Executive of the Professional Jockey’s Association, said: “Having a space to rest and relax is really important and valued by jockeys, so it’s great that the team at Wincanton have created the space to provide such a facility.”



Racing commentator and soon to be the voice of ITV Racing, Richard Hoiles, will be present at Wincanton for the opening meeting on Friday, 14th October when he takes up his position as a non-executive director for the Somerset course.


Richard got his first broadcast role commentating on racecourses in 1992 and has subsequently called races all over the world from Japan to Canada.  Commentaries in this country include numerous Epsom Derbys, Cheltenham Festivals and Grand Nationals and in 2012 he achieved the unique feat of being the Racecourse Commentator for every Classic in the same year. Presenting roles include regular contributions to attheraces, Racing UK and Channel 4 as well as being the lead presenter for the world feed of the Dubai World Cup.


Jo Hepburn, Chairman of Wincanton Racecourse said: “We look forward to welcoming Richard on-course as a non-executive director of Wincanton. He brings with him a wealth of experience from the many years he has been a racing commentator and presenter, and we much look forward to him being part of the Wincanton team."


Speaking of the posting, Richard Hoiles added: “'Before I was lucky enough to get a job in racing I qualified as an accountant working within retail as an analyst so it is nice to be able to bring the two roles together.


“The opportunity will help improve my understanding of the industry as a whole and hopefully assist Jo Hepburn and the team achieve their ambitions to progress Wincanton as it prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary.”



New this season, is a newly formed Jockey Club Ownership Cheltenham & South West Syndicate.  This first syndicate is limited to 250 members and features a host of benefits including annual member access to Cheltenham, Exeter, Warwick and Wincanton for two jump racing seasons starting this month.

Designed as an introduction to racing ownership the Cheltenham & South West Syndicate is for jump racing fans who share a dream of a Festival winner and have a love of racing.

Syndicate members will have a horse in training with three top trainers in the south West – the 10 time Champion Trainer, Paul Nicholls, Jonjo O’Neill and Warren Greatrex - and a share in all three horses.

Members will also benefit from an exclusive facility at The Festival, a share in any of the prize money won by the club’s horses and an opportunity to follow each of the horses owned by the club.  This will be complimented by organised stable visits and regular exclusive updates and newsletters.

Memberships are priced at £2,590 for two years will full details available at


In 2017 Wincanton Racecourse will celebrate 150 years of racing and in recognition of the milestone the racecourse has commissioned a breathtaking bespoke sculpture created by local artist, Clare Tupman.

 ‘The Last Fence’ will be officially unveiled at Wincanton Racecourse at the opening meeting on Friday, 14th October by top sports TV and radio presenter, John Inverdale.

The sculpture is to be made of stainless steel and is set to stand about three metres high – similar to the height of a 16.2 thoroughbred when jumping.

Speaking about the sculpture and commission, artist Clare Tupman said: “I have always enjoyed challenges and making large pieces of artwork, and was thrilled to be approached by Andrew Wilkinson from Wincanton Racecourse to create a signature piece for the course.”  

The creative process of The Last Fence started with a two dimensional armature framework, to which Clare adds piece-by-piece sheets of manipulated steel to form a life size three dimensional object. Plasma cutters and a welder are essential tools, with the latter also used in the decoration process.

Clare adds: “My main desire is to work with this highly unforgiving material and turn it into a beautiful thing.  This exciting commission was particularly challenging because for the first time ever, this sculpture had to be made in sections, and I questioned if it would actually work – thankfully it did!”


“This season promises to be an exciting period for Wincanton Racecourse.

“I am thrill to be able to launch a one-enclosure policy that will run alongside numerous activities and initiatives from Annual Members stable tours to our exciting South West Racing Syndicate.

“As we prepare to celebrate 150 years of racing at Wincanton, we continue to focus on our loyal stakeholders from our regular racegoer to our sporting stars, and our renewed focus will without doubt deliver benefits to all.”

Gates open this Friday, 14th October at 11:30am with a six race card.  To book visit or call 0344 579 3014.

About Wincanton Racecourse:

Wincanton Racecourse is situated in the heart of Somerset – home to rural jump racing. Wincanton stages 18 meetings each season.  Please find more details at and through Twitter (@WincantonRaces) and Facebook 


Wincanton Racecourse is part of The Jockey Club, which has been at the heart of British racing for more than 260 years. Today the largest commercial group in the sport, The Jockey Club runs the largest racecourse group in the UK by turnover (2015: £174.2m), attendances (2015: 1.95m), total prize money (2015: £43.9m), contribution to prize money (2015: £19.9m) and quality racing (Group and Graded races); more than 3,000 acres of world-class training grounds in Newmarket, Lambourn and Epsom Downs; The National Stud breeding enterprise and education provider; and the charity for racing's people in need, Racing Welfare. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny The Jockey Club makes it puts back into British racing. More information is available at


For further information please contact:

Hannah Walker, Wincanton Racecourse on 07971 598287 or


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