Sober fun in the sun
Wow. A racecourse with a Plan B. And it seemed to work, too.
Summer marketing at some tracks seems to amount to praying for the sun then raking in the money from hordes of young folk drinking themselves silly at the bar, with little concern for the unpleasant atmosphere created.
But Uttoxeter decided to be different and – whisper it quietly – to take the slightest of steps upmarket.
So though they rebranded today’s previously nondescript afternoon card as ‘ladies day’, there was no attempt to market it to the younger, more hedonistic type of racegoer. Rather, they tried to a sell it a slightly older clientele.
So, for example, musical entertainment was provided by a Michael Buble tribute act rather than a more ‘pop-y’ band.
And best-dressed racegoer prizes included the ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ trilogy, wrapped in a tie – apparently a jokey reference to goings-on contained within the pages of a book, about which I am sadly ignorant. And intend to remain so, judged on the face that business development executive Samantha Edwards pulled when I asked her what the goings-on were.
Executive director David MacDonald’s vision was of people sitting round the paddock in the sunshine sipping Pimms – “We want a quality day, not a crush.” And he got his wish – a distinctly healthy 4,000-odd in attendance and all hospitality boxes sold yet no overcrowding, no overdrinking and no air of menace.
Of course, the key word was ‘sunshine’, which always puts people in a better mood – even when it’s so scorching they’re using umbrellas as impromptu parasols.
And there was something to celebrate as Derek Thompson was back, wielding microphone and bucket for the first time since June 23 – though there is a little less of him now, five weeks out of action as he recovered from an operation does not appeared to have changed him.
ANOTHER GREAT DAY AT THE RACES
23RD SEPTEMBER 2012
Events from 1pm – 4.30pm
GODOLPHIN GO KARTING CHALLENGE
The Godolphin Go Karting Challenge will include a Stable Staff Grand Prix with approximately 65 Newmarket Stable Lads and Lasses all battling for victory. Later in the afternoon there will be a Celebrity Go Karting Competition – with Racing UK vs AtTheRaces and Trainers vs Jockeys – make sure you are there to cheer on your favourite Newmarket Trainers and Jockeys!
Having been longterm sponsors of (and competitors in) double harness scurry driving, the Osborne Scurry Group was set up with a group of like minded competitors, as the UK’s premier scurry driving organisation, with the aim of putting on the best and most entertaining scurry driving competition.
First, lay out a series of coned “gates” including a slalom, a nice tight, three sided “box” and some good, fast corners. Take two ponies, harness them to a lightweight racing carriage, then insert a driver with a need for speed and a groom on the back with nerves of steel and the balance of a cat. Set them against a clock and watch them fly!
Modelled on Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show of 1896, experience an outstanding display of practical horsemanship, shooting skill and cold courage; a story of adventure, drama, ambition and harsh justice, re-enacted by Gerard Naprous and his “Devil’s Horsemen” as they repulse a murderous attack on the Deadwood Stage and its passengers by brutal robbing gunslingers. Burst your sides laughing at the antics of Smokey Joe and his whiskey guzzling horse. Join us in saluting America’s true folk hero, ‘The Cowboy’, whose courage in the saddle is matched by no other.
JSC SPORT MOUNTED GAMES
The Mounted Games Association Display provides thrilling, fast-moving, family entertainment. Teams of young riders on very fast ponies compete in a variety of obstacle and relay type races. The speed of the ponies and the skill of the riders are breathtaking and combine to produce a colourful, all action display. Keep an eye out for a celebrity rider in each team as your favourite jockeys join in the fun.
MARTIN COLLINS QUACK PACK
Meirion’s sheep dog and duck demonstrations are designed to showcase the amazing talents of border collies and the communication between handler and dog. His demonstrations are informative, educational and highly entertaining. They are also interactive, allowing hands-on adult and children participation. Meirion provides his own humorous commentary as he uses a combination of commands to guide his dogs and cooperative (and sometimes uncooperative) Indian Runner ducks around a course that includes tunnels, slides and pens.
JOHN PARKER ROYAL MAIL COACH
The London-Norwich Royal Mail Coach is probably the most famous coach in Great Britain today. Over the past 30 years it has carried people from all walks of life, including members of the Royal Family, politicians and celebrities. It has visited most of the major towns and cities in the United Kingdom, galloped up racecourses, attended shows to carry VIP’s and give displays, helped raised money for charity and featured in books and on television. On every occasion it has been driven by John Parker and pulled by his Hungarian Greys.
BRITISH RACING SCHOOL
Be put through your paces on the British Racing School’s Racehorse Simulator. The British Racing School was established in 1983. The principal objective of the school is to provide and promote training and education for people employed in the racing industry. Come and see if you have what it takes to be the next Champion Jockey!
AIR AMBULANCE FLY PASS
One of the three beneficiary charities of the Newmarket Open Day, East Anglian Air Ambulance, will be holding a helicopter fly pass as a finale of the day.
CURTIS FARRIER DISPLAY
O.A. Curtis & Sons is an internationally recognised farrier business based in Newmarket. The business is owned by Simon Curtis, the forth generation of farriers to provide shoeing services from this site. It employs a team of farriers and apprentices who are responsible for shoeing both racehorses and breeding stock in and around Newmarket. O.A. Curtis & Sons will be taking part in farriery display on Newmarket Open Day.
BAMBI THE MINIATURE HORSE
Bambi is an American Miniature Spot Horse and only 24 inches high. She loves attention and will be at the Rowley Mile Racecourse for a ‘meet and greet’ on the day.