What is the Winners’ Enclosure?
Strictly speaking, the Winners’ Enclosure is, as the name suggests, the designated area of a racecourse to which winning and placed horses return after passing the winning post to be reunited with their owners, unsaddled and, of course, to receive the adulation of the racing public. The winners’ enclosure may be incorporated into the Parade Ring, around which horses walk before the start of a race, as may the Unsaddling Enclosure, in which unplaced horses are unsaddled and washed down afterwards.
If it is, the Winners’ Enclosure must be sufficiently large to accommodate the first four horses home, plus their connections and, for safety purposes, separated from the rest of the Parade Ring by a double-railed fence. Winning and placed horses remain in the Winners’ Enclosure until the ‘horses away’ signal, at which point they are led back to the stabling area by their grooms, where they, too, are washed down and receive further liquid refreshment.
Of course, part of the celebration of winning a race is the presentation of trophies to the winning owner and, possibly, to the winning jockey and trainer by the race sponsor or a celebrity guest. To this end, regardless of the exact location of the Winners’ Enclosure, a raised presentation rostrum and public address system are often provided, so that the public can both see and hear the prize-giving ceremony.