White's World

Keeping cutting on course

by T H WHITE on November 2, 2021

Cheltenham Racecourse is one of the foremost horse racing venues in the UK. Operated by the Jockey Club, the course is home to the Cheltenham Festival and the famous Gold Cup.

The task of maintaining more than 350 acres of grass on the course – which has to be perfectly presented for racegoers as well as creating the best possible conditions for racing – falls to Head of Groundstaff Ben Hastie and his team. As you would expect, the right choice of mower is important for the work they do.

“The mowers we had been using covered the ground quite quickly but the quality of cut just wasn’t what we were looking for,” says Ben. “When the time came to replace them we decided to see if we could do better. At the top of our list of requirements was obviously quality of cut, speed and productivity, but reliability is incredibly important too. 

“If one of our mowers breaks down for any reason we need to get it back in action within hours. That means having a competent dealer on hand and – most importantly – ready availability of all replacement parts in the UK.”

Callum Bourke at the controls of the Ransomes MP653XC wide area mower, Cheltenham Racecourse.

Ben’s search took him to T H WHITE’s Knockdown branch where Groundcare specialist Mike Harris was able to demonstrate the Ransomes MP653XC wide area mower. “We really struck gold,” said Ben. “Not only did the MP653XC deliver exactly the type of cut we were looking for, but it covered the ground at an excellent speed with a 4.25m cutting width which is ideal for our large grass areas. As the side decks fold upwards its easy to move the mower around the whole racecourse complex too, through the many restricted width crossings in the course rails.”

With the side mowing decks lifted, the Ransomes MP653XC is easy to manoeuvre around the racecourse.

Ben took delivery of the first MP653XC in June 2019, and a second one replacing the last of the old machines in January 2021, both fitted with all-weather cabs which allow the grounds staff to continue working in comfort, whatever the conditions. Ben’s requirement for readily available parts is no problem either as the Ransomes UK base is in Ipswich and the T H WHITE Groundcare team are always on hand when needed. 

“Buying the Ransomes mowers was a great decision,” adds Ben, “and T H WHITE have really looked after us. For anyone thinking of purchasing a wide area mower I can thoroughly recommend the Ransomes MP653XC and also the service at T H WHITE Groundcare.”

If you would like to request a demonstration of any Ransomes mower, just complete the form at thwhitegroundcare.co.uk/get-in-touch.

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T H WHITEKeeping cutting on course