Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HT NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Hereford Racecourse is to close at the end of the season
11:37am Friday 27th July 2012 in News
This live event has finished
- Hereford Racecourse is the close at the end of this season.
- Arena Leisure and Northern Racing say attempts to extend lease have been unsuccessful.
- There are just six meetings left this year.
Herefordshire Council leader Councillor John Jarvis said he was disappointed with the news.
He added: "They (Arena Leisure and Northern Racing) are making out that we have not been able to discuss leases with them which is not true.
"We want to make sure we keep horse racing in Herefordshire."
Fellow Welsh trainer Tim Vaughan also spoke to The Guardian .
He said: "It's frightening really. It's quite a shock. It's not as though we've known there were talks going on or anything, it's just come completely out of the blue and it's hard to get your head round at this stage.
"Hereford is a track that is synonymous with National Hunt racing and it will be devastating for everyone if we lose it. Both Hereford and Folkestone are racecourses that have stood the test of time and this is not what racing needs at the moment."
Evan Williams is one of the leading trainers at Hereford, having saddled 18 winners in the last five years at the track.
The Llancarfan handler was in shock after hearing the news.
He told The Guardian : "It really is absolutely devastating. I honestly can't believe it.
"Along with Chepstow, Hereford is probably our local track and I've had some great days there both as a trainer and a jockey before that.
"It's always a great place to have runners as it's a great atmosphere and it attracts a proper National Hunt crowd in a proper National Hunt area.
"It's really upsetting news and it's going to be a massive loss to racing in the west and to trainers in south Wales. It will be a loss to the whole country I think.
"Where there is life there's hope and I just hope something can be done to prevent this from happening."
Herefordshire Council has said it didn't know Arena Leisure and Northern Racing was going to close Hereford Racecourse.
In a statement just released, the authority says: "At midday today representatives came to see us to inform us of their decision to close.
"This is the first we heard that they were going to take this decision.
"The lease between the council and the racecourse has a further 17 years to run and the council remains willing to discuss options with the company for the continuation of racing in Hereford.
"This is clearly a business based decision for Arena Leisure and Northern Racing.
"We understand in discussion with them today that they have been running at a loss over recent years and their announcement and decision to close Hereford racecourse is based on their overall trading position."
Action at Hereford back in April.
A P McCoy on Malakiya wins the Wyvern Ices Selling Hurdle Race at Ladies Day this year.
Last meeting at Hereford Racecourse set for December 16.
An online petition to save Hereford Racecourse from closure has already started
@HTnewsroom Seriously something has got to be done!! Cant they get a petition going? Hereford is dying, why have the council not renewed it!— @JohnSmi98474700 27 July 2012
Here is the full statement from Arena Leisure and Northern Racing.
Tony Kelly, managing director of the groups said: "Hereford is owned by Herefordshire Council and run under a lease arrangement.
"Attempts to extend the lease, which has 17 years remaining, have been unsuccessful.
"Despite being unviable for several years we have supported the Racecourse but much-needed investment, required to breathe new life into the racecourse, cannot be justified in the absence of a long-term future for the business.
"Folkestone suffers from out-dated facilities and has been the subject of detailed discussion between the previous management, Arena Leisure, and Shepway District Council for several years now.
"The proposal for the site incorporated significant residential development, which would have enabled a new racecourse to be constructed with much enhanced amenities.
"However, these plans have been delayed following the recent Examination in Public of the local plan.
"Discussions will continue with Shepway District Council in the hope that there will be approval of development plans which would secure the future of the racecourse. If they succeed, work to reconfigure the racecourse could commence in 2013.
"Every effort to continue trading at these racecourses has been explored but it is with regret that a variety of circumstances means that this is no longer possible, therefore both Hereford and Folkestone racecourses will therefore cease trading at the end of the 2012 season.
"The fixtures will be transferred to other racecourses within the group, where we will be able to offer increased prize money and better quality facilities for connections and race-goers alike."
Hereford Racecourse is to close at the end of the season, Arena Leisure and Northern Racing have announced.
The fixtures staged at Hereford will be transferred to other racecourses.
The company is also planning to close Folkestone, but that racecourse may re-open in the future, subject to on-going negotiations with Shepway Council.
RT @boycarr: @HTnewsroom This can't be allowed to happen or it will be another nail in the coffin of our city!— @pricemaster14 27 July 2012
RT @VisitHfds: BREAKING NEWS: Folkestone & Hereford racecourses to be closed by Arena Leisure and Northern Racing" THIS IS REALLY SAD NEWS— @HTnewsroom 27 July 2012
RT @CorneliusRacing: #Racecourses: personally heart-broken to see #Hereford, first course I attended, closing; wonderful days & good, fair track #TheEdwardian— @HTnewsroom 27 July 2012
@HTnewsroom A sad day for Hereford - yet another local tradition goes to the wall :-(— @themisers 27 July 2012
Hereford Racecourse to close at end of the season. What are your thoughts? Sad day for racing?— @HTnewsroom 27 July 2012
Racecourse update: Unsuccessful attempts were made to extend the lease, which has 17 years to run. http://t.co/WOgi1rKl— @HTnewsroom 27 July 2012
@OneJollyGirl @HTnewsroom NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!— @purechocolate 27 July 2012
RT @CorneliusRacing: #Racecourses: Northern Racing on Hereford: Much-needed investment cannot be justified in the absence of a long-term future for the business— @HTnewsroom 27 July 2012
Comments are closed on this article.