Whatever the weather, a trip to the races offers a great show for everyone

Horse racing is a typically British summer pursuit that welcomes 6 million people all year-round and, whatever the British weather decides to do, a day or night out at the races is great fun for everyone. Of course when the sun does shine there's nothing better than enjoying a glass of something cold whilst watching fantastic sport in picturesque surroundings.

As an outdoor attraction the weather has a significant impact for organisers throughout the year as they ensure the racing ground is the best it can possibly be to guarantee the safest conditions available for horse and rider. Weather extremes each have their own unique challenges and racecourse teams are expertly trained to tackle whatever the British weather throws at them. The Jockey Club, owners of 15 leading racecourses in the UK including Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs in Surrey and Newmarket, invest every penny back into the sport and in the past 10 years has spent £155 million on facilities and track improvements, which ensure the Group will have the best possible chance of staging fixtures when severe weather threatens the racing action.

A day at the races

Last summer, heavy rain forced six of the Group's fixtures to be postponed during what was the wettest summer on record for more than a century. This year, the warm and dry weather has meant every summer racing fixture at The Jockey Club has gone ahead as planned. The heat wave experienced throughout the UK during July has also had a positive effect on sales of thirst-quenching cold refreshments, which shot up by more than 20% year-on-year. As temperatures reached highs of more than 33oC at some racecourses, race goers consumed more than 10,200 litres of one of Britain's favourite summer drinks, Pimm's and lemonade - enough to fill 51,300 sun tan lotion bottles or 79 paddling pools. More than 12.5 metric tonnes of ice was used, which is enough to give everyone in Newcastle an ice cube and was 32% more than in 2012, whilst champagne bottle corks popped 6,500 times - enough to cover Formula 1 podium celebrations for the next 60 years!

Horse racing fixtures are staged 363 days a year at locations across the country and, if you attend one of The Jockey Club's racecourses, accompanied under 18s get free entry making it a great value summer activity for families. The summer months are also when The Jockey Club stages its popular programme of racing and music nights. With headline acts including Keane, Simple Minds, Kaiser Chiefs, Madness, Labrinth and Meat Loaf, more than 200,000 people will attend 24 nights of live music and thrilling horse racing this summer.

So, whatever the weather this summer, grab your sun cream (or your brolly!) and head out to experience an exciting day out watching one of Britain's most loved sports.  

Up and coming events

Friday 23rd August and Saturday 24th August - Newmarket Racecourse - Summer Bank Holiday Weekend, featuring McFly

As Newmarket's much-loved July course prepares to bring down the curtain on its summer racing stage, there is an amazing double-header for you that celebrates all that's fantastic about the July Course. There is music, dancing, great racing, a fabulous location and...sausages.

On Saturday the racecourse stages the oldest race in British racing history, the Newmarket Town Plate, which sees amateur riders compete for a historic prize that includes some fabled Newmarket Sausages.

But for many, the key attraction at this fun-packed meeting is the Summer Saturdays Live event. This will showcase a late-afternoon post-racing concert by boy-band McFly. The concert has proved really popular in the past with families and fans enjoying the open-air bars as well as the late-summer sun. It's a great way to soak up the last of the summer rays over the August Bank Holiday.

For more information visit Newmarket Racecourse.

Bank holiday Monday 26th August - Epsom Downs Racecourse - Family Funday

An action packed afternoon of racing and entertainment for the young and old alike with pony rides, a petting zoo, bouncy castle, carousel, face painting, hot shoeing demonstrations, trade stands, and more!  All entertainment in the Grandstand and Lonsdale Enclosures is free.
The Sunderlands Shetland Pony Derby will also take place once again before the first race of the afternoon, and Fulham Football School will be on-hand to help improve football skills! Plus, we have the new interactive 'Kids love the Races' roadshow here for the day, designed to entertain and engage under 12s in the sport.  Budding young jockeys can enjoy finding out more about the equine and human stars of the sport, jump on board a horse simulator, design their own racing silks and lots more.
Children's running races will also take place on the day with races for under 5's, 7's and 9's. The lucky victors in each race will receive a great prize.

For more information visit Epsom Downs Racecourse.

Friday 30th August and Saturday 31st August - Sandown Park Racecourse - Betfred Summer Racing

Get the weekend started early and enjoy an afternoon's racing here at Sandown Park on Friday 30th August. Relax in the picturesque surroundings and soak up all the atmosphere and excitement of a competitive card of Flat racing.

On Saturday, enjoy an afternoon out with all the family at what is always a great day of quality flat racing at Sandown Park Racecourse.

We have got all the ingredients for a great Summer party including steel band, fairground stalls, face painters, balloon modellers, and prizes for the best Hawaiian Shirts! There will also be strawberries and cream, freshly pressed lemonade, barbecue food and ice cream all available.

For more information visit Sandown Park Racecourse.

More information about the Jockey Club and future events The Jockey Club's racecourse.

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