Whenever people visit Hereford Racecourse for the first time, we are always struck by a familiar reaction.
They may have come from the other end of the country, or from somewhere else within the county, or even live just around the corner, but they will so often remark they had no idea there was such an attractive square of greenery so close to town.
It’s been said a few times this summer already, as we have opened the doors to new friends and old.
It’s the nature of a modern racecourse these days that even when the next racing fixture is still three months away, there is plenty going on.
Over the past few weeks, we have held two school proms, with over 300 guests in total, open air cinemas screening Grease and Top Gun, the Hereford PRIDE celebrations, plus private business fun days. The proms were a highlight seeing the wonderful modes of transport for their arrivals, including the Westons Cider Dray and Shire horse (pictured), tractors, and even a swarm of mopeds!
We have still got the Hereford Food Festival to come in September, which promises to be a jam-packed (no pun intended...well maybe) weekend of music, food and drink for everyone. This takes place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September and you can find out more and book tickets here.
But while all that is going on, there is a small army of people working hard behind the scenes to ensure the racecourse will be ready for our first meeting of the jump season on October 17.
That means not just the usual watering and mowing, but lifting away the fences by tractor, repairing and replacing the brush in our workshop, and giving everything a fresh lick of paint.
Thankfully, we have very dedicated staff who are absolutely committed to making sure everything looks picture-perfect in time for when the starter's flag drops.
So far, we have been quite lucky with the weather at the course and we’re hoping that continues. Whilst the constant showers may be interrupting summer holiday plans for some, we are ever appreciative of what falls from the sky as the track always needs a consistent drop of rain to help it look its best!
So, that’s our plan for the next few weeks – a busy time hosting all kinds of events before the thunder of hooves and the roar of the grandstand greets the start of another racing season.