A A A

It’s just a matter of weeks until one of the UK’s most exciting new point-to-point venues opens its gates to horses, trainers, jockeys and the public.

The inaugural meeting of  Shelfield Park Races near Alcester, Warwickshire is set to take place on Saturday 21st March 2020, and there is great excitement building around the event which is being organised by The Croome and West Warwickshire Hunt following the closure of its longstanding venue at Upton-on-Severn.

The course itself, a sweeping track set over a slope which promises outstanding viewing for racegoers, is the brainchild of landowner and Chairman of the fixture Patty Allen. Patty, describes how her dream to provide a legacy for the Hunt of which she is senior joint-master has come to fruition,

“After the closure of Upton we looked at several locations for new venues, when it suddenly occurred to me, why not hold it at home? We have had the benefit of advice from numerous highly experienced people, including leading licensed trainer Dan Skelton, whose racing yard is just around the corner from the course, to make sure what we have developed is the very best we can offer for all concerned.

I'm excited, apprehensive and proud of what we have achieved in a relatively short space of time. We have enjoyed a wealth of support from local farmers, landowners and businesses, and there is a real sense of wanting to come together and create a success of this new venue which is hugely encouraging and rewarding,” she added.

Clerk of the course, Nick Pearce, a rider and trainer himself, is anticipating the venue will become an established fixture on the racing calendar for years to come and is looking forward to bringing the dream alive when they open the gates for the first time on 21st March.

“We have had a terrific response from owners and trainers who want to support this event by racing their horses here. We feel confident that being as centrally located as we are with Stratford-on-Avon, Henley-in-Arden, Redditch, even Birmingham and the local motorway network so close at hand we will attract a great crowd to enjoy a top day’s racing,” he said.

The organisers are also inviting aspiring young riders and jockeys from the Urban Equestrian Academy in Leicester to attend the first meeting. The Academy is a social enterprise for inner city children and involvement with Shelfield Park Races is intended to provide them with an opportunity to meet jockeys, trainers and owners as part of their self-development and educational experiences.

“We are delighted to be able to welcome The Urban Equestrian Academy to our meeting, said Patty. “This will be the first time many of the children will have ever visited a horse racing event and we are very much looking forward to giving them a positive experience that we hope will set them up for a lifetime of interest in the sport,” she added.

The gates are set to open at 10am with the first race starting at 1pm.

Visitors, who are being encouraged to come early to miss the queues, can find the venue at Shelfield Park, Burford Lane, Alcester B49 6JW.

More information can be found at www.shelfieldpark.co.uk