Category Archives: Ripon

APPRENTICE SET TO MAKE THEIR MARK IN ONE OF A KIND RACE AT RIPON

As the jockeys take to their saddles to ride at Royal Ascot (or Ripon!) this week, most will be lucky enough to have ridden their fair share of winners in their careers. But as most jockeys and sportsmen/women alike will remember, nothing beats your first competitive win whatever sport they compete in.

It will certainly be a mixture of emotions for the apprentice jockeys due to ride at Ripon Races on Wednesday evening, as they are all in fact chasing their first ever winner in the ONLY race in British racing open only to jockeys who have yet to ride a winner.

The race is the all down to the work of North Yorkshire racing welfare legend Raye Wilkinson, who has been working in racing for over 50 years.

Wilkinson was previously a social worker in Catterick Garrison, but a chance meeting with Middleham trainer Ernie Weymes in 1966 led to his involvement in racing. He instantly fell in love with horse racing and has never looked back. By October of that year Wilkinson was a full-time worker for the Stable Lads Welfare Trust, and the office in Middleham was opened.

Raye has since moved on but still works in Middleham for Mark Johnston Racing as their dedicated welfare officer. He continues to support up and coming jockeys by creating the very unique race for Apprentice riders which takes place at Ripon on Wednesday evening, 21st June.

“If anything, I’ve left my mark by creating a welfare service, in 1978 I looked at racing from a stable lads’ point of view, and realised there was very little welfare cover for them,”

“I am so passionate about helping those working in racing from the ground up and this race is what that is all about, recognising those wonderful moments in a young jockeys career, however long that may be” said Wilkinson

The race which is the first race on Wednesday evenings card at Ripon, is this year titled to honour Rayes Dedication to the sport as ‘The Raye Wilkinson Apprentice Handicap’

Raye’s hard work has also been well recognised within the industry, having won the ‘Go Racing in Yorkshire ‘Lifetime achievement award’ back in 2010 and most recently being one three finalists for the Rory Macdonald Community award at the annual Godolphin Stable and Stud Awards in January 2015.

Wilkinson who has organised the race for seven years now, will never forget the day Oisin Murphy won the race back in 2013. Frustratingly Murphy who has since gone onto become one of the nation’s top flat jockeys, had a winner just three days before the race at Salisbury but conditions of the race meant that as the declaration dates had passed he still qualified to ride in the race.

Raye often refers to a fitting quote by Charles Trigg who rode an impressive 843 winners after his first ever winner in Newbury in 1905, and is best known for winning the Epsom Oaks aboard Rosedrop in 1910.

“Nobody but an apprentice who has done it will ever know what it means to ride his first winner. No words can explain it. You walk on air. You do not care what happens. You have done it. You have ridden a winner, and nothing can ever take that away from you” Charles Trigg, (1881 – 1945)

We look forward to seeing some more future stars start their careers with a first win in the saddle, what is sure is that it will be a day to remember for one happy jockey.

Closing details

 

Ripon Races are a flat turf racecourse, one of nine racecourses in Yorkshire. They hold 17 race meetings in 2017, from April to September with a variety of evening, weekend and family fun race days.

 

The race meeting on Wednesday 21st June starts with the first of six races at 6.50pm with entry from 4.50pm. The course will have live music on the bandstand from Leeds based acoustic duo ‘Strobe’.

 

As usual at Ripon, accompanied children under 18 years of age are admitted FREE of charge into all enclosures. Tickets can be pre-booked for discounts or adult admission is available on the gates from £7 per person in the Course Enclosure, £15 in the Paddock and £23 for the Club Enclosure.

 

RIPON SET TO LAUNCH ‘THE ROYAL ASCOT OF THE NORTH’ WITH THE ULTIMATE COMPETITION GIVEWAY

As the nation gears up for a week of action at Royal Ascot, Ripon Races are getting into the spirit with their very own ‘Royal Ascot of the North’ as they host two-days of action including their annual Ladies’ Day on the same day as the Berkshire course.

The North Yorkshire course, otherwise known as ‘Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse’ is set to host their annual two-day Ladies’ Day meeting, with an evening of racing on Wednesday 21st, before they host their Ladies’ Day on Thursday 22nd June.

To launch the event, the Racecourse have teamed up with Stray FM and Heli-jet to offer four racegoers the chance to win the ultimate VIP day at the races. Not only does the winner win full hospitality for four people, the lucky winner will be brought to the racecourse by helicopter to really get into the spirit of Royal Ascot! Entries close on 18th June with Harrogate based radio station Stray FM taking entries online.

https://www.strayfm.com/win/riponracesladiesday.php

One of the main highlights of the afternoon is the traditional ‘Best Dressed’ and ‘Best Hat’ competitions, with prizes courtesy of and judged by sponsors Snooty Frox and Milliner Jenny Roberts both of Harrogate.

Turning attention to the racing, Thursday’s Ladies Day’ theme is also replicated on the track as Ripon stage their ‘Ladies’ Derby’ – an amateur race for Lady Riders only. The race is one of the longest standing in racing history, with Ripon hosting one of the first EVER recorded races for Lady Amateur riders back in 1723.

Ripon also host an evening of racing the previous day on Wednesday (21st), the meeting features six races including the ‘Raye Wilkinson Apprentice Handicap Stakes’. The race is the only race in British Racing which is only open to Apprentice Jockeys who have never ridden a winner. (See separate press release)

James Hutchinson, Managing Director and Clerk of the Course said:

“Ladies’ Day is a real highlight of our racing calendar and we are thrilled to be able to offer racegoers the chance to do it in real style! This year’s competition is simply out of this world and as always we look forward to an afternoon of quality action, glitz and glamour’

Whether you want to strut your stuff at the bookies, sip champagne on the summer lawns or simply resurrect that beautiful hat and shoes combo from the wedding you went to last year, Ladies Day provides a great excuse to let your hair down and enjoy a day not to be missed.

You can keep up to date with all the latest news and offers from the course on their social media pages, or by visiting their website.

The race meeting on Wednesday 21st June starts with the first of six races at 6.50pm with entry from 4.50pm. The course will have live music on the bandstand from Leeds

Thursday’s Ladies’ Day afternoon racing starts with the first of seven races at 2.10pm with entry from noon.

Horse Racing is the fastest growing social sporting activity and what better way than to enjoy a summers evening than with the whole family.

As usual at Ripon, accompanied children under 18 years of age are admitted FREE of charge into all enclosures. Tickets can be pre-booked for discounts or adult admission is available on the gates from £7 per person in the Course Enclosure, £15 in the Paddock and £23 for the Club Enclosure.

ROLL UP ROLL UP’ IT’S TRADITIONAL FAMILY DAY AT RIPON RACES

‘Following on from the success of last week’s landmark FREE FRIDAY meeting, Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse hold their first Family Day of their season this Sunday, with their annual ‘Traditional Family Fun Day’.

Complementing Ripon’s family friendly Racecourse status, the day focuses on entertainment for the family with their Traditional Family day activities. There will be a wide variety of FREE attractions suitable for all ages (adults included), with Punch & Judy shows, face painting & balloon modelling and lots more fairground rides alongside a classic brass band to set the tone. Children’s entertainment is in the Course Enclosure; ensuring youngsters have a fun-packed day alongside the whole family enjoying the horse racing.

James Hutchinson, Managing Director and Clerk of the Course said:

“Family fun days are a big part of our racing calendar and our Traditional Family Fun Day is great way to introduce the next generation of racegoers to racing at Ripon. With the range of activities alongside the quality racing, it really is a great affordable family day out”

Turning to the racing, the day features’ The Wilmot-Smith Memorial E.B.F ‘Breeders Series’ Fillies’ Handicap Stakes’ a £20,000 Handicap contest for fillies over the sprint distance of six furlongs. The afternoons feature race ‘The Ripon, Yorkshire’s ‘Garden Racecourse’ Handicap Stakes over one mile offers prize money of £23,000.

The race meeting on Sunday 21st May starts at 2.00pm with the gates open from 12.00pm and the last of 7 races at 5.10pm.

Fixture details:

Sunday 21st May

Gates open at 12:00pm – First of seven races starts at 14:00pm

All accompanied u18’s come FREE into any Enclosure with a range of FREE fun for the kids including a visit from the National Festival Circus who will be performing throughout the afternoon alongside a range of fairground rides and other activities.

Feature race of the day: ‘The Ripon, Yorkshire’s ‘Garden Racecourse’ Handicap Stakes (£23,000)