Theakston Beer & BBQ FestivalFeatured Event
Celebrate the final meeting of the season with the return of the Theakstons BBQ n Beer Festival.
Featuring the ‘Ripon Cathedral City of the Dales Handicap’
Where to be for the best views
As the premium enclosure, in the Club Stand you can enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in the Club Dining Room, or sip a glass of champagne in our popular Silks and Saddles Bar. You can go down to the Winning Post to catch a glimpse of the horses dashing by or view them from our seated and covered ‘Club Stand’. The excitement of the Parade Ring and Winner’s Enclosure are close by and can be viewed on the balcony of the popular St Wilfrid Bar located on the first floor. Coming to Ripon is often a celebration and this area provides the chance to dress up as Ladies often wear hats and gentlemen often take advantage of the opportunity to put on their best suit for the occasion.
Admission into the Paddock Enclosure allows you access to the main areas of the racecourse, including access to the Parade Ring to view the horses, and with fantastic views of the track. With our fantastic pre-booked group rates, it’s the biggest and most popular area of the course for large groups. There is no dress code for the Paddock Enclosure so you can come casually dressed. Enjoy a drink in the popular Wakeman Bar, or try a pint of Yorkshire’s best in the Theakston Terrace Bar. There is a large variety of areas in which to eat, including the Fountains Café, serving a wide range of tasty home comforts or try our home cooked Fish ‘n’ Chips (made with real beef dripping!).
This is the most informal area of the racecourse which is always very popular on the Family and Feature Racedays, for those wanting to bring a picnic and have a great, affordable day out . It offers a view of the finish line and has a bar, and food outlets available. With limited cover on a wet raceday, visitors can still view all of the action on the TV’s in the Course Enclosure Bar. There are plenty of places to get your bets on with on site bookmakers, William Hill and RiponBET. Picnics are welcome in the Course Enclosure and racegoers have the opportunity to bring their own alcoholic drinks to accompany their picnics. Please note there is a maximum allowence of 4 cans per person, or the equivalent, and strictly no glass bottles. BBQ’s are allowed but only in designated areas and these must not be located next to the track. Some racegoers do like to take their own tables, chairs and gazebos, this is OK, but it is asked that you do not restrict anyone’s view of the track.
How to find us
The nearest stations are Harrogate (11 miles), Thirsk (11miles) and York (27 miles)
36 – Leeds – Harrogate – Ripon. Which runs every 20 minutes. 70 – Northallerton – Thirsk – Ripon. 142, 143 – York – Boroughbridge – Ripon.
From the South Leave the A1 at the turning to Ripon (junction 48), which is just after the Harrogate exit, and follow the brown signs for Ripon Cathedral. Once over a fairly narrow bridge you will be approaching the Racecourse on your left, the first entrance is the Cars on Course (£18 for a car of up to 4 adults in the centre of the racecourse) and the second entrance is the main free car park with access to the Club or Paddock Enclosure and also the Course if you are planning on walking into the centre at a price per person.
From the North Leave the A1 where it is joined by the A61 which becomes the Ripon bypass. Turn left at the third roundabout and the racecourse is just a few hundred yards on the right. The first entrance on your right will be the main free car park with access to the Club or Paddock Enclosure and also the Course if you are planning on walking into the centre at a price per person, if you are wanting the Car on Course Enclosure this is the first entrance on the right after the main gates which allows you to drive into the centre of the racecourse (£18 for a car of up to 4 adults in the centre of the racecourse).
What to wear
People in the Club Enclosure are asked to dress respectably and in smart/casual attire. By smart/casual attire this means no ripped or torn denim, sportswear, trainers or t-shirts. Smart denim and tailored shorts are now accepted. There is no formal dress code for the Paddock or Course Enclosure but the racecourse does ask that people still dress in a manner of taste and decency. Bare chests are not acceptable.
The first recorded horse races in the Ripon area took place in 1664 on Bondgate Green. Over the next 236 years, several other venues were used to stage race meetings. Indeed, during one meeting in 1723, Ripon race goers witnessed a moment of horse racing history, when they watched the first ever race exclusively for lady riders.
However, none of the historic venues had long lasting success, and it took the opening of the current course on Boroughbridge Road to establish Ripon as a regular flat racing venue. In 1900 Ripon Racecourse moved to its current location at Boroughbridge Road, and has been an important fixture on the racing scene ever since. The very first meeting at the modern course was held on the sixth of August 1900, and since that time, the racecourse has developed so well, it is now regarded as the sporting flagship of this medieval market town.
Well respected within the industry and a popular choice with Yorkshire based owners, Ripon retained its title as ‘Best Small Racecourse in the North’ once again in 2014 & 2015 as voted by the Racegoers Club.
Due to its most pleasant surroundings, Ripon is known as Yorkshires Garden Racecourse, and during the flat racing season, racegoers can enjoy the Ripon facilities on any one of seventeen race days in 2017.
Staging only flat racing, horses run right handed over an undulating oval course measuring one mile five furlongs in circumference. There is a sharp bend into the home straight, and the home straight is one of the longest in the country, being five furlongs in length. The last furlong of the run in to the winning post is also noticeably uphill with undulations, and on softer going, stamina becomes important. On firm, or good going, statistically, the sprint course favours low drawn horses.