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Aug 23, 2013

A message from our Managing Director about the raceday experience

We have received some letters regarding the fixture on Saturday 3rd August and in particular concerning the entrance procedure and the bar and drinking areas.

Since the hotel was opened in 2012 we have had to alter the traffic system to enter the Racecourse on racedays. The entrance opposite Tesco (for many years the only way to come into the Racecourse) is only an entrance for owners, trainers, shareholders and officials.

This entrance does not involve cars crossing where pedestrians are walking, and as soon as they enter the main gate they turn right to their car park. The general public, disabled racegoers and those wanting to park on the rails together with the annual members have to use entrance off Greenhill Way marked general public. Please note gates open for all our fixtures 2 hours before the first race start. We advertise this widely and it is not advisable to come any earlier as it causes congestion with other businesses.

We have two entrances at the £12 Course Enclosure and £18 Paddock Enclosure. All disabled patrons pay for entrance to the Course Enclosure and those with a carer get a free upgrade to the Paddock Enclosure.

Bars and Drinking Areas

In agreement with the Health & Safety Authority, together with the police, drink is not allowed to be consumed outside unless it is in the three designated drinking areas. These are on the Course Enclosure to the right of the bookmakers, in the Paddock Enclosure on the veranda overlooking the Parade Ring and a small area in front of the grandstand left of the bookmakers ring. Why have we created these areas despite drink being served in plastic glasses? On a number of occasions over the past few years people have left empty glasses on the grandstand steps or on the ground where people have tripped over causing various cuts, bruises and injury including a person hospitalised who tripped down the grandstand steps.

We are not trying to be awkward and I understand the area is small (something which we are looking at increasing for next season), but there are many people who like to come racing to enjoy the event and do not drink so we as a racecourse try and cater for all.

At the meeting of 3rd August we had some issues with staff on the bars calling in sick which resulted in a shortness of staff and caused huge queues. Despite our best efforts to resolve these problems it was not acceptable and we are sorry for your inconvenience. Our Safety Stewards are employed for your safety and have nothing to do with the bars.

Newton Abbot Racecourse is always trying to ensure the experience on a raceday is a happy one and we respect and take on board everyone’s views. In the close season we have projects to alter two of our bars to ensure whatever crowd turns up you will be able to get served quicker. Lastly it is a company policy that no alcohol is brought into the racecourse, notices are at each entrance.

P G Masterson
Managing Director
Newton Abbot Races Limited