Last weekend we went along to Pontefract Races for their In the Zone family day. Despite Pontefract Racecourse only being about 30 minutes away from where we live, we had never been before. And after such a fantastic day at Ascot last month, we were very excited to attend a local race day.
As part of Great British Racings Under 18s Race Free initiative there are 60 racecourses across Great Britain where children are admitted free of charge and Pontefract is one of these. Included in this are 50 special family days with additional activities put on for families and young people. You can find out more and find a family race day near you here.
At the Pontefract In the Zone race day there were seven zones across the enclosure offering racegoers the opportunity to learn more about the horse racing industry. In addition to this there was also a kids takeover where children were able to try their hand at a number of different race day roles. They even got the chance to interview a jockey.
When we arrived at the racecourse we headed straight for lunch. There were lots of different options including pizza bar, burgers, fish and chips and a buffet style restaurant. We opted for pizza, which was delicious.
Next it was time for our first race of the day. The kids love picking a horse each and seeing how well they do. They are always amazed at just how fast the horses can run.
Then we headed into the kids zone which the children loved! There was so much for them to do included face painting, pony rides, and a funfair. And if all that wasn’t enough, there was even free kids activity packs to keep them occupied.
Evie managed to win on hook a duck, she was so determined! Even though she could have chosen a goldfish as her prize, she went for a rubik’s cube instead, haha! Although she hasn’t managed to solve it just yet, she’s still working on it.
Max had a go on the bungee trampoline which he loved! He is such a thrill seeker. Just look at that face…
After we’d watched a couple more races we headed over to the parade ring to watch the horses. This was one of the best things that we did at Ascot as you can get really close to the horses. The kids were amazed at how big they are! So much bigger than the horses they rode at their horse riding lesson last week.
We had a great day out at Pontefract Races, there was lots for the children to do and they learned a lot about the horse racing industry. We are off to Southwell Racecourse on Monday which we are all very much looking forward to. We will also be attending the open morning (10am – 11am) hosted by local trainer Scott Dixon where we will get a tour of the newly renovated training facility, you can find out more here.
If you are local and fancy attending a family race day this bank holiday weekend, here are details of upcoming events…
Sunday 25th August – Beverley ‘Circus Family Raceday’
This bank holiday day full of fun features funfair rides and a variety of stalls from The Beverley Lions.
There will also be a Big Top and circus training brought to you by Greentop Circus. For the adults,
there will be a beer festival to enjoy, as well as lots of exciting races.
Facilitated by Racing to School, an education charity which delivers free outdoor learning activities for
young people at racecourses, studs and trainers’ yards across the country, a Kids’ Takeover Day is
being rolled out at Beverley and a number of racecourses across the summer by Great British Racing,
offering children unprecedented access to the races and the chance to turn their hand to some of
horseracing’s greatest job roles.
Monday 26th August – Ripon ‘Bank Holiday Family Day’
Join us for our classic August Bank Holiday family fun day. Not only do we have lots of FREE family
fun for the junior racegoers but we have FREE entry for accompanied u18s and fantastic racing
action on the track.
Friday 30th August – Thirsk ‘Pirates Family Day’
Pirates Family Day sees the return of the brilliant Captain Jack Sparrow look-a-like with his
swashbuckling shenanigans. Follow his antics as he tries to recruit more seafaring crew and tries his
hand on the coconut shy.
There will be a treasure hunt in the family enclosure, which if successful a chest full of treasure can
be found. There will be face painting and a huge inflatable Pirate Ship Assault Course for those more
adventurous among you.
Find out more about Under 18s Race Free here.
Thank you for reading.
*Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Great British Racing*