Kids Go Racing Free!


There aren’t many places that you can take the kids for free in the Summer holidays but horseracing is a great exception with under 18s getting in free at racecourses nationwide.

With plenty of venues and over 200 racing fixtures over the summer, a race meeting offers a unique kids day out where children can have their first taste of top-notch sporting action, get some fresh air and see the equine stars strut their stuff.

Eight Fun Things To Do on a Racecourse


1. Go to the pre-parade ring

Often a little quieter than the main parade ring, it allows you to have a really good look at the horses up close without their saddle on. A few things to look out for are :

  • Different colour of horses (grey, brown, bay, black, chestnut)
  • How calm and quiet a horse is.
  • Look at how the horses move

2. Pick your favourite horse

Before a race, pick your favourite horse and then follow it throughout the race. You might pick a horse because:

  • You like the look of the horse
  • You like the colour of the jockey silks
  • You like the name of the horse

Keep your eye on your horse as it goes down to the start, watch it as it goes into the stalls and then follow the horse throughout the race. If it ends up doing well, cheer it home!

3. Watch a race on the rail

Pick a spot on the rail somewhere in between the one furlong marker and the finishing line. This is the closest you can get to see these beautiful animals at full speed. Listen out for the thud of the hooves, especially when there are a lot of runners.

4. Visit the Winning Post

The winning post is the most important part of the racetrack and by getting close to it you can cheer the triumphant horse home. If it’s a close finish, you can also have a go at trying to decide which horse has won.

5. Go to the Winners’ Enclosure after a race

Here you can applaud the winning team and see the lucky owner, trainer and jockey receive their prizes.

6. Watch a race next to a jump

Many racecourses allow you to watch a race near a jump. They’re a great place to really appreciate the athleticism of the horse. See how far back the horse’s jump from and see how far they fly until they land. Look at the jockey’s and their body position in the air. Listen to the noise as they horse go over the fences.

7. Go to the start for the race

Some racecourses will run shuttle busses down to the start (or you can walk) so you can experience the other end of the race. See how fast the horses go from zero to full speed. Listen to the jockeys and the horse handlers to see how they calm the horses down before the start of the race.

8. Get a jockey’s autograph

Try and get some of your favourite jockeys’ autographs as a memento of the day. You can try and catch them as they make their way from the Weighing Room to the parade ring before their race.

Read more at Great British Racing

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