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Ascot Racecourse Moveable Turf Crossing

20 years before our groundbreaking retractable pitch rolled out at Tottenham Hotspur, the engineers here at SCX were busy creating another sporting first… this time at Ascot, and horseracing’s first movable racecourse.

The Challenge

Access roads cutting across racecourses are commonplace, yet they are also hazardous to galloping horses and their riders. Ascot Racecourse previously used a range of infill materials, topped with fibre matting designed to simulate track conditions, to cover its access road surfaces.

However, the matting was a poor substitute for shock absorbent turf and provided the horses with limited protection during a race, causing them to break stride as they felt the change in terrain.

ARX Ascot Racecourse Moving Ground Stadium

The Solution

ARX engineered and installed a retractable section of racecourse, running on steel rails embedded in the access road, and finished with a real turf surface. Over 200 tonnes, and measuring 54m long by 4.5m wide, it was the first moveable course section in horseracing.

Without the innovation of the retractable crossing, improving the quality and safety of access to the racecourse would have involved the costly construction of road bridges or underpasses.

Technical Details

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