A Guide to Racecourse Maintenance: Tips & Tricks to Try
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A Guide to Racecourse Maintenance: Tips & Tricks to Try

Everyone loves a day at the races, but it’s important to remember that taking care of a racecourse properly requires a certain degree of time and effort. From the force of galloping horses to inclement weather, racecourses can receive a fair amount of wear and tear. Read on to discover some useful tips and tricks to improve racecourse maintenance work.

Invest in spring cleaning

You should ensure racecourse maintenance efforts are well underway in spring. Thorough spiking will open the surface and assist in surface water drainage, in addition to encouraging deeper root penetration. Late March and early April is also the prime time to apply fertiliser to thicken the sward. It’s worth noting that you may need to add more fertiliser in summer, depending on the condition of the turf. Keep in mind that too much nitrogen will result in soft, lush growth – this is to be avoided if possible.

Renovate your racecourse

As previously mentioned, National Hunt courses must be prepared in spring while progressive renovation should be carried out during the flat season in summer. The tracks and fences should be repositioned where possible to allow for natural recovery and the speedier establishment of the renovated areas. Additionally, you should make sure to apply a thick layer of hay/straw two or three days before the meeting to protect take-offs and landings at jumps from severe frost in winter. This will help to prevent deep penetration of frost.

Following a race meeting, there are several steps you can take to improve turf maintenance. You should ensure the course is thoroughly spiked to help relieve surface compaction. Large divots which have been kicked should be surface dressed with a mixture of topsoil and seed to produce a true level. Remember that all topsoil should be applied evenly to avoid smothering the existing sward.

Don’t neglect drainage

Improving racecourse drainage systems will enable venues to avoid waterlogged courses and host more meetings, particularly during colder weather. When it comes to racecourses, drainage work can be carried out progressively, selecting the worst areas first and expanding further as time and finance allows. In winter, it’s worth making a note of particularly wet areas so that suitable drains can be installed in these areas during the summer. Some racecourses have installed complete irrigation systems, as moisture levels will affect the turf’s growth and strength, so this could be an idea worth considering.

Here at RKC Contractors, we’re experienced in a wide range of civil engineering projects, commercial grounds maintenance and groundworks. We’re your go-to civil engineering contractors and have worked extensively on producing seamless racecourse grounds. For more information about our reliable services, please contact us today.


RKC Contractors Ltd
Unit 5 Cutlers Farm Business Centre, Edstone, Wootton Wawen, Henley in Arden, B95 6DJ

Call: 01926 840002
Email: hello@rkccontractors.co.uk

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