Teams at Newmarket, Leicester and Warwick scoop RCA prizes
Haydock stalwart Maurice Crooks earns Lifetime Achievement award
Newmarket will kick off one of the highlights of its year, the Dubai Future Champions Festival, with the accolade of being the best-prepared dedicated Flat course in the country after seeing off stiff competition from Nottingham in the RCA Groundstaff Awards.
The judging panel highlighted "huge improvement" at HQ and nominated the deployment of Alan Harterley to Flemington in Melbourne as evidence of a commitment to staff development.
The team at Leicester will be feeling rightly proud after the course earned the title of best dual-purpose surface.
Leicester's efforts in comparison to other courses, which enjoy considerably more resources, were marked out for particular merit and the RCA panel was impressed by the track's husbandry of the combined hurdles and Flat course throughout the year.
The jumping crown went to Warwick, where staff were praised for the "outstanding achievement" of integrating the Flat course into the chase track.
Goodwood earned a special merit award for the team's heroic efforts in the face of extreme weather during the Qatar Goodwood Festival, while Maurice Crooks was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award for his role at Haydock and in the wider industry.
The individual winners will all go forward to the RCA Showcase Awards at Newbury on November 16, where the overall Groundstaff Champion will be one of the 13 trophies to be announced.
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