Yorkshire courses set for bumper year

18 April 2024

Yorkshire is an absolute hotbed of British horse racing, boasting no fewer than nine top class horse racing venues. As we approach the busy summer season, we take a look at some of the biggest events available to Yorkshire racing lovers, both across the flat and over jumps. And there’s something for everyone.

York racecourse

As one of the biggest and most prestigious courses in the country, let alone the county, York racecourse, also known as the ‘Ascot of the North’, has an absolute belter of an upcoming fixture list for fans. It all starts in May with the exciting Dante Festival (Wed 15th – Fri 17th May) closely followed by the May Spring meeting on Saturday 25th May. There’s the June meeting on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th of that month, followed by the John Smith’s Cup meeting (Fri 12th – Sat 13th) and the Music Showcase Weekend (Fri 26th – Sat 27th) in June. Then comes the highly anticipated Sky Bet Ebor Festival, running this year from Wednesday 21st to Saturday 24th August. There are further events scheduled for September and October.

Doncaster racecourse

Another jewel in the Yorkshire racing crown, this course boasts two of the oldest races to be found anywhere in the world: The Doncaster Cup, and one of the five Classic races, the Saint Leger.
It all kicks off at Doncaster with the Spring Afternoon of Flat Racing on Friday 26th April, followed by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Raceday a day later. There are further Race Afternoons in May and June, with the latter also featuring the Family Fun Day on Sunday June 16th. July also features afternoon racing on Friday 5th and Thursday 11th. Things really heat up in September, however, with the huge trio of events: Betfred Ladies Day (Thursday 12th), Betfred Doncaster Cup Day (Fridy 13th) and then the biggest of the lot, the Betfred Saint Leger (Saturday 14th). October boasts the Futurity Trophy Weekend (25th – 26th) while you can attend Handicap Day in November (9th). And then don’t miss Christmas Jumper race days on 13th and 14th December.

Catterick racecourse

A much smaller venue but beloved of Yorkshire folk nonetheless, Catterick racecourse is a busy spot nearly all year round. Established as a horse racing venue as far back as 1783, Catterick is loved for its lively combination of racing and live music, hosting a number of popular events throughout the spring and summer. It kicks off in April (24th and 30th) and continues into May (13th and 31st). May also features the Racing Reminiscence Race Day (23rd). And then one of the most popular events of them all takes place in June, with the beloved Catterick Beer Festival Racing Afternoon coming up on the 8th of that month

Beverly racecourse

Beverly is another smaller venue in the county, but a busy location nonetheless, with the season opener taking place on 17th April. There’s afternoon racing the same month (25th) and then all the family, youngsters and all, is catered for with the ever-popular Family Fun Raceday on 6th May. There are further Family Fun Racedays on 29th May and 30th July. Some of the summer highlights at Beverly include the Bet365 Very British Raceday (8th June), the Weatherby’s Coconut Cup (6th July), the Sky Bet GRIY Summer Festival (22nd July), Ladies Day (14th August), the Circus Family Raceday (25th August) and William Hill Beverly Bullet (31st August), all before the Season Finale on 24th September.

Pontefract racecourse

Yet another staple of Yorkshire racing and a small venue with a busy card, Pontefract has something for everyone. It all starts with OAP Free Day on Monday 22nd April, while the popular National Horseracing College Charity Day takes place on 1st May. There are then a number of events running throughout the summer and early autumn, with events coming to close with the Season Finale and National Hunt Handover on Monday 21st October.

There’s more

If that all wasn’t enough, then there a further four busy racecourses in the county of Yorkshire featuring top class racing action and theme days, including family fun days, charity events and more. Pop along to the popular seaside town of Redcar for plenty of summer racing action at the well-loved racecourse, while also up in North Yorkshire you can find the lovely venues at Ripon and Thirsk. And then in the west of the county is the ever lively Wetherby racecourse, featuring popular events throughout the spring and summer, and continuing into the winter, where you can attend the wonderful two-day William Hill Yorkshire Christmas meeting on 26th and 27th December.
It’s really not hard to see that Yorkshire exists at the heart of the British horseracing scene.


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