Weather Halts British Racing

Britain is known for its exciting and noteworthy horse racing, but as with most countries, racing takes place when the weather is good. If there is a risk of the weather affecting the health and well-being of the horses, races are cancelled or postponed. Unfortunately for Britain, the weather has been unforgiving, with temperatures plummeting below freezing, forcing racecourses to cancel racing until further notice. This is a massive knock for the British horse racing industry and only time will tell when racing can resume.

The cold spell that has hit Britain has brought the racing industry to a halt, and racecourses across the country have had to close their doors due to the cold being unsafe for horses and jockeys. Chepstow Racecourse had to cancel the meeting they had scheduled for the 4th of December 2010, as Keith Ottesen explained, “We’ve been below zero for the last 48 hours and, although it was not as cold last night as the night before, it still got down to minus 1ºC. The frost is deep in the ground, mainly due to the minus 6ºC temperatures we had last weekend and we also have a small covering of snow.” For the last week, racecourses such as Warwick, Sandown, Punchestown, Exeter and Kelso, have had to reschedule, as most of the tracks are frozen and they are waiting for the frozen parts of the track to defrost.

Sandown had to reschedule and move some of their races to other racecourses, such as the Tingle Creek Chase, which was moved to Cheltenham Racecourse. David Mackinnon, the Managing Director of the racecourse expressed the dismay at having to move the race, saying: “We are devastated to have abandoned the meeting as it’s a day of fantastic racing and festive entertainment. However, we are delighted the Keith Prowse Hospitality Tingle Creek Chase has been rescheduled at Cheltenham.” Racing authorities across Britain are hoping that weather conditions will improve as the snow continues to fall, but the frozen racecourses are not their only concern, as the roads to the courses also pose a threat. Once the weather and cold begins to subside, racing will be able to resume as normal, and the British racing calendar can continue as scheduled.