CARTMEL Racecourse was announced as the runner-up in the 2011 Neil Wyatt Award at the Groundstaff Awards this week.

Headed by Gary Sharp, the only full-time member of staff, the team’s effort saw the course awarded the runner up spot in the jumping section behind Fontwell.

Managing director Jonathan Garratt said: “We are thrilled that Gary’s efforts were recognised by the judging panel and it is a credit to him and the part-time team to have come so close to winning the award.

“We attach a great deal of importance to our racing surface here at Cartmel and it is always pleasing to see efforts recognised in this way.”

As well as the British Horseracing Authority’s racecourse inspectors, Rupert Arnold, chief executive of the National Trainers Federation and Dale Gibson from the Professional Jockeys Association were on the judging panel.

The panel said Fontwell was given the top prize because of its challenging fixture list but that they had ‘noted the improvements at Cartmel during 2011’.