January 28, 2021 4 min read
Believe it or not, after football, horse racing is the UK's second most popular sport with thousands of fans from all over the world following the major meetings happening throughout 2021 but with the current lockdown and covid restrictions in place, will horse race events be allowed to take place?
At the start of 2020, Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation as the virus quickly spreading across the globe.
By March 2020 case numbers in the UK were rising rapidly and the Cheltenham Festival was the last major meeting to allow spectators before the UK went into full lockdown inline with other countries to help stop the spread of the virus.
Although the race meeting took place in accordance with government advice at the time, the event was attended by over 60,000 racegoers each day which was heavily criticised by the media and general public as irresponsible resulting in all subsequent race fixtures being held behind closed doors.
Fast forward to January 2021, the miracle of science has provided a vaccine which is rapidly being rolled out across the world. At this stage it is too early to tell if enough people will have been vaccinated to enable the lockdown restrictions to be eased enough for large scale events to take place, but at least there is now light at the end of tunnel.
The early 2021 racing fixtures such as the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National will most likely be televised only events but hopefully by late Spring, spectators may once again be allowed to attend race meetings outdoors and at Fascinators Direct we're keeping our fingers crossed for the Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot so we can don our finest racecourse attire with hats and fascinators once again.
Without further ado, lets take a look at the major horse racing fixtures for 2021:
Tuesday 16th March - Friday 19th March 2021
With four days of racing action attended by around 250,000 people, the Cheltenham Festival is one of the top horse racing meetings of the season. Taking place in the beautiful Cotswold Hills, you can expect to see the finest horses and jockeys battling it out to claim the substantial £4 million prize fund.
Traditionally, Cheltenham Festival Ladies Day takes place on the 2nd day which falls on Wednesday 17th March 2021. The Jockey Club have issued a statement on their website to say that they will to continue to follow Government advice and look forward to welcoming spectators when it is safe to do so. With this race event happening so early in the year, at this stage it seems unlikely that spectators will be allowed to attend.
The Grand National
Thursday 8th April - Saturday 10th April 2021
The Grand National is one of the most iconic horse races in the UK with over 65000 spectators watching from the race track, and a further 600 million from around the world watching it on TV or online streaming.
Aintree Ladies Day 2021 takes place on Friday 9th April with the main event “Grand National Day” on Saturday 10th April.
If the restrictions have been eased by April and you can make it Liverpool you should head over to Aintree for a great day out at one of the UK’s most popular race events.
Epsom Derby Festival
Friday 4th June - Saturday 5th June 2021
With its stunning surroundings and panoramic views of London’s skyline, The Derby Stakes, or popularly know as “The Derby” is set in one of the most beautiful horse racing venues in the England. Steeped in tradition and history, it’s easy to see why every jockey wants to win this prestige thoroughbred flat race, and this year’s Epsom Derby Festival starts with Ladies Day on Friday 4th June 2021 followed by Derby Day on Saturday 5th June.
Each year, over 125,000 horse racing fans visit the Epsom Downs in Surrey to celebrate this historic horse racing event which is one of the most popular hose races in the world and the glamour of Debry Day is a great excuse to don your best racing hats and races outfits.
Tuesday 15th June - Saturday 19th June 2021
Revered across the globe, Royal Ascot is without a doubt the most prestigious event in the British horse racing calendar. With five days of racing, Ascot attracts many of racing’s finest horses to compete for over £8 million in prize money.
Attended by over 300,000 spectators, this year’s Royal Ascot takes place from Tuesday 15th to Saturday 19th June, with the celebrated Royal Ascot Ladies Day on Thursday 17th June 2021.
Blending beauty, colour, and tradition, this glamorous race meeting is where racing meets fashion. Racegoers can expect fine dining and great hospitality which is what makes Royal Ascot the perfect event to dress up in your finest race day dresses and wear your favourite Ascot hats.
At this stage, due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation there is uncertainty as to exactly when spectators will be allowed back to Ascot racecourse, but we’re we’re keeping everything crossed that case numbers will be low enough by the summer to allow the event to take place in all its former glory.
If you're planning your races outfits be sure to explore our fascinators for the races or ladies day hats, and to add a stylish finishing touch to your outfit, why not complete the look with a classy race day bag.
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