Fighting At Racecourses

Staff member


I never thought this would be a topic of conversation but in the last week fights have broken out at race meetings on two of the UK's premiere race courses - Goodwood and Ascot.

Fighting broke out at Ascot on Saturday, a week after police said around 50 people were involved in "multiple altercations" at Goodwood.

Racecourse Association (RCA) chief executive Stephen Atkin said tracks would need to assess security measures.

"It means employing the right level of security staff," he told BBC 5 live.

"The question you have to consider is how many of those should be in high visibility and how many in plain clothes. That is something racecourses may want to look at and step up the level of visibility."

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) says troublemakers could be banned from racecourses.

"We have been in contact with the RCA this weekend and we know that courses will take into account the incidents as they make their security plans for each meeting," it said.

"The BHA does have the power to exclude individuals from courses and will use it where it can."

At Ascot, a window was smashed at the course as trouble broke out in a stand and footage was later widely circulated on social media of racegoers trading blows outside the entrance.

Police said two men with minor injuries were treated at the scene and no arrests had been made.

Racecourse officials said security had been increased and the incident was dealt with quickly. They have pledged to put in place "appropriate measures" for Royal Ascot next month, although did not expand on details.

Atkin acknowledged that drugs, as well as alcohol, were an issue at some meetings.

"There is very considerable training which the RCA helps run of racecourse staff about serving alcohol in bars and making drinking water freely available and advising people how to pace themselves," he said.

"With the issue of drugs, there are regular checks on areas that may be prone to drug misuse. The RCA and our racecourse experience group are in regular touch with the police officers' association about how we can best tackle that. "

The BHA indicated after the Goodwood incident that "crowd control and behaviour" could be taken into consideration when a racecourse licence is issued under new plans.

York racecourse believes it has measures in place for this week's Dante meeting to prevent trouble.

"We're obviously aware of the unsavoury incidents and we will take all the sensible precautions to take racegoers' safety where it should be," said James Brennan, York's head of sponsorship and marketing.

Time for The Sport of Kings to introduce alcohol bans, seating only and banning orders? If this was football, we'd have the weight of the media calling for these.
Some Random Guy
Staff member

Some Random Guy

Saw that on the news at lunchtime. The fighting at Ascot was worst but that guy getting kicked in the head at Goodwood was sickening.
Major Tom
Staff member Staff member Staff member Staff member

Major Tom

Horseracing man. That is shocking!!

Seating only isn't going to happen, given that the races themselves are a relatively small part of the day and a lot of the other parts of the experience involves walking about but banning orders and alcohol restrictions may well do. Banning orders probably do happen already to be honest.
Staff member


I'd say it wasn't alcohol that's the problem here, more likely drugs. Sadly it's ruining racing and putting off a lot of families and real racing fans. Time the courses/security/jockey club employed a drugs dog to get them before they even get onto the course.

Create an account or login for full access

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.