Wetherby Racecourse, which earlier this year announced a wish to stage a limited amount of Flat racing, has been allocated its first Flat fixture on Sunday, April 26, 2015.
Following the conclusion of the first stage of racecourse fixture moves during the development of the 2015 Fixture List, the British Horseracing Authoritiy (BHA) confirmed that Wetherby has been successful in its application to hold Flat racing next year.
This follows the staging of a series of trials over a variety of distances on the Flat at Wetherby on June 10.
The West Yorkshire racecourse, founded in 1891, will retain its focus on Jump racing.
Jonjo Sanderson, Chief Executive & Clerk of the Course of Wetherby Racecourse & Conference Centre, commented today: “We are delighted to have been allocated our first Flat raceday on Sunday, April 26 next year.
“This day is a conversion of an existing Jump fixture, which had been scheduled to take place the previous Sunday.
“The fixture slot is one that Wetherby has had for a number of years, but we were required to vacate it in 2014 to accommodate the break in Jump racing following the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown Park.
“The rationale behind the introduction of Flat racing at Wetherby is to try and grow our business and attract a new customer base to Wetherby, as well as achieving a greater utilisation of the excellent equine and customer facilities that the racecourse has to offer.
“This should not be seen as a step towards the end of Jump racing at Wetherby – in fact the opposite. Any Flat racing fixtures we secure will be supplementary to our core activity of Jump racing and provide vital support to Wetherby’s Jump race programme.”
Wetherby has been scheduled to stage between 14 and 19 fixtures annually over the last 25 years, all of which were Jump fixtures.
The 2014 fixture list at the West Yorkshire course comprises of 15 racecourse fixtures, 1 enterprise fixture and 2 BHA leasehold fixtures (allocated on only a 1-year lease).
Subject to finalising the process by which BHA leasehold fixtures will be allocated, which is currently under review, it would be Wetherby’s intention to try and acquire additional BHA leasehold fixtures for both Jump and Flat racing.
For more information, please contact, Jonjo Sanderson, Chief Executive & Clerk of the Course, Wetherby Racecourse & Conference Centre on 01937 543344 or 07831 437453