ONE of England’s most picturesque and historic racecourses is poised to launch its 2019 season with a colourful combination of family fun and spectacular sport.

Ripon Racecourse, in the heart of North Yorkshire, is known as “The Garden Racecourse” because its beautiful floral displays and lawns have helped it blossom into an outstanding place to enjoy the Sport of Kings.

Horse racing has taken place in the Ripon area since 1664 and Ripon racegoers witnessed history being made in 1723 when the first race exclusively for lady riders took place.

Ripon Racecourse moved to its current location in Boroughbridge Road in 1900 and it has been a popular destination for racing fans ever since.

That popularity has again been endorsed with Ripon being confirmed as one of the top 11 racecourses to visit in England and Wales by the national tourist board, VisitEngland, as part of the Raecourse Association’s Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme. Ripon received excellence accolades for customer service and the Club Restaurant

.The new season gets off to a cracking start on Thursday, April 18, with an irresistible Easter Family Day. Chocolate eggs for children, Easter games, an Easter Bunny hunt, mini farm, bouncy castle, face-painting – and it’s all FREE for kids!

That’s followed on Saturday, April 27, with a fantastic afternoon of quality racing, featuring the Pipers Note Handicap - named after a remarkable horse which has so far achieved eight wins at the track.

The first evening meeting of the season on Friday, May 10, is “Fiver Friday” with pop icons Five playing live after racing and entry into the Paddock and Course Enclosure priced at just £5 (Club Enclosure £15).

Sunday, May 19, is Traditional Family Day, with an array of FREE entertainment, including the National Festival Circus, Punch ‘n’ Judy and magic show, Kub Karts, bouncy castles, face-painting, and balloon modelling.

This is just the start – there are another 17 meetings at Ripon all the way through to Saturday, September 28.

Ripon’s Marketing Manager, Jonathan Mullin, said: “We’re really looking forward to the 2019 season at Ripon. We have lots of exciting plans with something for everybody, from racing fans to families and first-time racegoers. For a great value day out come and join the fun at Ripon.”

  • The racecourse is easily accessible from the A1 and a free shuttle bus runs, in partnership with Sherwoods of Ripon runs for 90 minutes before the first race and for 30 minutes after racing. The bus collects racegoers from the coach park opposite Ripon Bus Station.
  • For all the latest information about racing at Ripon, go to www.ripon-races.co.uk