Blog – 15th March

Welcome to another blog from the team at Pontefract Racecourse.

Every fortnight, someone from the team will share their thoughts for your entertainment (or otherwise!):

  • Managing Director, Norman Gundill with his trusty PA, Caroline who also looks after the hospitality,
  • Accounts Manager, Nicola,
  • Admin manager, Carol,
  • Marketing exec, Alexia, and,
  • Chief Operating Officer, Richard, who is writing today’s blog.

Well, it’s nearly here….the 2024 racing season gets underway on Easter Tuesday 2nd April. And, if it ever stops raining, we’ve got some fantastic things lined up for 2024 and we kick off with our Easter Extravaganza. You can expect plenty of Easter treats instore, including an Easter Egg Hunt in the Picnic Enclosure and some fairground rides.

Not only does our first race meeting fall on Easter Tuesday, it is also World Autism Awareness Day which is a really fitting way to start our Autism Friendly racedays for 2024. If you’d like to learn more, click here – or register to attend by completing this questionnaire.

As people up and down the country continue to struggle with rising costs, we have decided that we will be holding our prices for many of the race meetings in 2024 meaning that tickets for the 10 midweek meetings purchased at the early bird rate are the same price as they were in 2010! We are so grateful to the local communities for their support and wanted to do our bit to ease the costs for those who attend. 

In keeping with our Yorkshire values, we have also continued our most popular cost effective True Yorkshireman package.

There are some proper savings so that even the most careful of Yorkshire folk can see some real value. For all our racedays (other than the Music Nights and Ladies Day) ‘The True Yorkshireman’ package will be available. Racegoers will be able to get entry to the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure, a pint of lager/bitter or a glass of wine and a pie – all for £16. The package is only available up to one month before each race meeting but offers a discount of almost 50% on ‘on the day’ prices.

As part of the 2024 Raceday entertainment, we will once again have two Friday Night music nights. The critically acclaimed Björn Again will perform at the Music Night race meeting on Friday Eve 24th May while longstanding Oasis tribute, Definitely Mightbe will be on stage on the 19th July when there’ll also be a local beer festival. The other evening race meeting (Monday 10th June) sees the return of the award winning ‘Racing For Everyone’ race night where we extend a warm welcome to those thinking of trying racing for the first time. There’ll be an orientation tour before the gates open so those with specific accessibility needs can check out the courses’ facilities before the general public arrive. There’ll also be an autism friendly, sensory space as well as BSL interpreters who will be signing the race commentaries to support the Deaf Community.

The popular Family Sundays return with the Yorkshire Heritage Family Day on the 23rd June. There’s more music for Tribute Bands family day on 28th July and the Sky Bet Sunday Series concludes at Pontefract on 18th August – our Premier Fixture in 2024.

Not forgetting Ladies Day (on 7th August) when, once again, RIU Hotels and Resorts will be providing a long haul flight and all inclusive break to the best dressed lady. This year, the lucky winner will be heading to Mauritius. 

There’s a lot to look forward to and we can’t wait to get started.