Return of Racegoers to be trialled in September

News | 26th August 2020

Members of the public will be allowed to return to the racecourse on a trial basis next month, starting with Doncaster's St Leger Festival.

Racecourses are set to open their doors to the wider public for the first time since March. In the intervening six months the sport has run safely behind closed doors with only essential personnel allowed at a racecourse. 

Horse Racing will be one of the designated pilot events as the Government’s step up plans to return “Stage five” of the recovery plan; which includes the return of socially-distanced crowds at elite sports events. 

The first raceday which is set to trial the return of racegoers is the Wednesday of the Doncaster St Leger Festival on 9th September. The next two pilot events will be held at Warwick racecourse on Monday 21st September and the Cambridgeshire meeting at Newmarket between Thursday 24th and Saturday 26th September.

Racecourses and the BHA will ensure protocols are in place to ensure the safety of all racegoers. 

Warwick (left) and Newmarket (right). Rcsegoers return
Warwick (left) and Newmarket (right)

David Armstrong, Chief Executive of the RCA, commented: “we are pleased to receive confirmation of our pilot events to welcome back crowds to racecourses and once again thank DCMS for entrusting the sport with this responsibility.

“Racecourses have been working for some time to this end and we are confident the events selected will provide strong case studies which will be of use to all.

“The disappointment of postponing our last confirmed pilot at Goodwood was felt across the sport, but the learnings and behind-the-scenes work have been of great value to others. Racing is ready to proceed in a safe manner and we are looking forward to once again welcoming crowds back to the racecourse.”