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This summer we are delighted to be working with Great British Racing, promoting their ‘Under 18s Race Free‘ campaign. Horse racing has always held a special place in my heart, so when the team got in touch and invited us to work with them, I jumped at the chance.
My nan loved horse racing, and I mean loved it. I grew up with it. Whenever we visited her, she would be checking the form, talking me through what she was looking for, her favourite jockeys, the best meetings and so on. It was definitely her favourite pastime, and so it became something special to me. Something that we took an interest in together. Add to that my teenage self when I discovered Riders (Jake and Rupert hold a place in my heart to this day) and learning to ride on a friend’s horse and an interest in equestrian sports was firmly established.
As part of Great British Racing’s ‘Under 18s Race Free’ initiative, there are 60 racecourses throughout Great Britain where under 18s are admitted free of charge to the vast majority of fixtures throughout the year, when accompanied by a paying adult. I like sharing new experiences like this with the kids, live sporting events are always fun and exciting, so the fact that they are free for children really appeals. In addition to the lure of the races, over the summer holidays there are more than 200 fixtures up and down the country, including 50 special family days with additional activities put on for families and young people. It was one of these family fun days that we went along to yesterday, at Leicester Racecourse.
The kids were fascinated from the start. Everything was new to them, so it was great seeing it all through their eyes. The family fun day seemed to be really popular as families arrived, armed with picnics, blankets and chairs and settled in for the afternoon.
The family fun day was set up track-side, a short stroll from the grandstand. There was lots for children to do and everything was included in the entry ticket.
Within moments of arriving, my two were playing crazy golf, and then running off to try a little rock climbing before getting their faces painted!
I loved that everything was included within the entry ticket. So often with these things, there are activities laid on, but then you need to pay an extra £1 or 2 for the face painting, and then for the crazy golf, so having it all included was very welcome. The children could just go from activity to activity without having to ask us for money and without us having to say ‘no’ after the tenth time!
The family fun day was track-side so you were a part of all the action, but as it was set aside, it wasn’t where all of the bets were taking place, so if you would rather keep your children away from that, you could. We did a little of both, as we played and watched some races from the fun day spot and we also took to the grandstand and watched some from there. It’s a different atmosphere watching from there, and we enjoyed listening to the commentary and hearing the people shouting around us.
We all had a brilliant time, it was a good family day out and quite different to any we have experienced before. I now have Boo telling me that she wants to be a jockey, so I will be interested to see how they get on with their riding lesson coming up soon as part of our collaboration with Great British Racing, watch this space…..!
To find out more about ‘Under 18s Race Free’ and find a family race day near you, go to www.under18sracefree.com
Would this be a day out that your family would enjoy?
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