Cartmel racing season is almost upon us and I’m really looking forward to planning a trip to my favourite racecourse. A day at Cartmel combines a number of wonderful things – horses, a beautiful setting, a fun atmosphere, the chance to have a flutter and (fingers crossed) a great day out to enjoy the sunshine!
Last September, I wrote a blog about my 5 top tips for a fabulous day at Cartmel races – these were my ‘must do’s’ for a day at the racecourse. So, as the Cartmel racing season officially begins later this month, I thought I’d revisit this brilliant event and tell you everything you need to know about Cartmel races.
Firstly, if you’re thinking about visiting Cartmel Racecourse this year, here are the fixture dates for your diary:
The Whit Holiday Meeting
Saturday 27th May (the first official day of the racing season at Cartmel)
Monday (Bank Holiday) 29th May
Wednesday 31st May
The June Meeting
Friday 30th June
Sunday 2nd July
The Barbecue Meeting
Saturday 22nd July
Monday 24th July
The August Holiday Meeting
Saturday 26th August
Bank Holiday Monday 28th August
When it comes to buying your ticket, there are two types to choose from: paddock enclosure and course enclosure. You’ll find a detailed description of each enclosure here. One of my Top Tips last year was to buy tickets for the paddock. Whilst tickets for each race day can be bought upon arrival I recommend buying them in advance. There are also vouchers you can buy for your visit, including BBQ packs, champagne, totepool betting and fairground rides. The atmosphere at Cartmel is always fun and friendly, with lots of entertainment for all the family.
The track at Cartmel is oval shaped and covers one mile and one furlong, (660 feet, one-eighth of a mile). Also, unique to Cartmel is the distance from the last fence to the finish line, it is known to be the longest in the country at just over four furlongs!
The land where the course is situated has always been part of the Holker Estate and owned by the Cavendish family. Hugh Cavendish became a director in 1974 and in 1998 the Estate bought out the previous management team and with help and guidance from a team from Aintree, Cartmel became the professional race course we know today.
According to the official website, the history of the course is thought to date back to the middle of the 15th century. The monks from nearby Cartmel Priory would organise races on mules for entertainment and it is thought there may have been some form of illegal gambling involved.
By the start of the 20th century, racing took place once a year, on Whit Monday. The Saturday was added in 1947, and the August meeting began in the 1960s. (The extra Wednesday in May and the two July dates are recent additions.)
There was no racing during the war years. It was only reintroduced thanks to the efforts of local landowners.
In the 1960s sponsorship was introduced to the course by chairman Colonel Davy Pain and his Clerk of the Course Tim Riley. Their vision changed the course dramatically from a small fun track where very few professional jockeys visited, to the front line of National Hunt racing. Visitor numbers were on a par with the likes of Aintree and Cheltenham. The fun element of earlier years was kept and the stalls and fun fair were situated in the centre of the course.
Over the years, changes have been made to the course, with the addition of the new grandstand in 2004, providing first class facilities for jockeys and officials. New hospitality facilities and a restaurant were included upgrading the facility to a corporate venue. These developments were part of an overall plan to safeguard Carmel’s future whilst retaining its unique charm.
Horses and equine photography are both lifelong passions of mine, and I am really looking forward to watching the horses in all their glory at Cartmel this year. I’ll definitely be taking photographs, so be sure to keep an eye out on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Do you own a horse or an equine-related business? My photography can not only capture the beauty of your horse, it also provides a unique memory, a perfect gift or can be part of stunning promotional materials. Learn more about my business here. Please feel free to contact me on the following email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07899 957130.
5 Top Tips for a fabulous day at Cartmel Races: http://claremalleyphotography.com/index.php/2016/09/21/5-top-tips-for-a-fabulous-day-at-cartmel-races/
Cartmel Racecourse: http://cartmel-racecourse.co.uk
Buy Tickets: http://cartmel-racecourse.co.uk/tickets/
Equine Photography: http://claremalleyphotography.com/index.php/equine-photography/
Photography for your Business: http://claremalleyphotography.com/index.php/photography-for-your-business/