Market Rasen Racecourse hits 13-year spectator high

A bumper Boxing Day crowd EMN-151229-100102002
A bumper Boxing Day crowd EMN-151229-100102002

Market Rasen Racecourse recorded its most successful season for 13 years as almost 81,000 punters flocked to the venue during 2015.

A bumper Boxing Day crowd helped the racecourse to its highest aggregate attendance for a calendar year since 2002.

The crowd of 9,023 at the festive finale took the 2015 figure on to 80,786 spectators, just below the overall total recorded 13 years ago.

Crowds were buoyed by good weather, the summer concert by Sir Tom Jones and a free family fun day in March.

Attendance was 34 per cent higher than in 2014 and 27 per cent higher than the average annual attendance over the last 10 years.

Market Rasen Racecourse general manager Nadia Gollings said: “It was a fantastic year at Market Rasen Racecourse.

“We enjoyed a modern-day record attendance for a single day during the summer and a superb Boxing Day fixture which is growing strongly in popularity again after being lost to the wintry weather a couple of times in recent years.”

The figures corresponded with a wider renaissance at venues within parent group, Jockey Club Racecourses, which also runs the likes of the Cheltenham Festival, the Crabbie’s Grand National and the Investec Derby.

A record 1,946,644 people flocked to 336 fixtures it staged during 2015.

All profits generated by its racecourses are re-invested back into the sport.

The group has contributed more than £400 million in the last decade, predominantly through prize money, to support those who work in the sport and provide a return for racehorse owners.

Investment has also been made in course facilities, including the £800,000 Tattersalls Enclosure development at Market Rasen Racecourse in 2014.

Market Rasen will stage 22 jump racing meetings in 2016 with the season scheduled to begin on Friday, January 22.

Jockey Club Racecourses group managing director Paul Fisher said: “I’m very proud we’ve broken our attendance record in spite of slow economic growth and consumer confidence that isn’t exactly racing away.”