Christmas Jumper Raceday Is Looking Like A Winner


13 December 2023

We can't wait to welcome you all to the annual Christmas Jumper Raceday this Saturday 16th December, sponsored by Planet Sport Bet.

Covid lockdown restrictions undermined the festive sporting date in 2020 and 2021, but with racecourse attendance figures now back approaching pre-pandemic levels, Hereford Racecourse general manager Camilla Esling is anticipating a return to former glories.

“I think this will be our biggest crowd since 2019 and we’re expecting around 3,000 people,” she says.

“A lot of tracks have been suffering with all the recent rain, but we have been quite lucky. The course is in very good condition, with the going likely to be good to soft or better come Saturday with the drying conditions.”

The Christmas Jumper Raceday will feature seven high quality races over the jumps, including the main race, the Hereford Mares’ Chase Series Final at 1.00pm. It’s the climax after a series of qualifying races run throughout the year and carries prize money of £35,000. Listed entries for the race include three horses trained by Venetia Williams at her Kings Caple stables – Stanley Stanley, Heva Rose and Penny Mallow.

But that won’t be the only prize on offer, or possibly even the most hotly-contested title. There will also be intense rivalry for the Best Christmas Jumper competition, worn by racegoers. Traditionalists will be backing someone sporting a woollen entry, with reindeer, snowman or pudding motif, but radical versions have also taken the top prize in the past, including complete two-piece suit outfits.

“The winner is normally someone who thinks a little bit outside of the box,” says Camilla.

“There’s fierce competition for the title as we have around 90 per cent of the crowd on this day who will be wearing a Christmas jumper.” Anyone who thinks their outfit might convince the judges should go to the winners’ enclosure at the end of the third race. First prize is a table for four people at the Hereford Racecourse restaurant at any fixture in 2024. There’s also a second prize of 10 tickets to any 2024 meeting and a chocolate prize for the best children’s Christmas jumper.

There is also live music in the Hummingbird Bar, with Hereford regulars, My Tin Monkey, with the band playing until 40 minutes after the final race of the day.

The first race of the day is at 11.55am, with the gates opening at 10.00am. The first 500 racegoers in will receive a mince pie and a bespoke Hereford Santa hat.

Racegoers who can’t make this Saturday, can look forward to the first race event of the new year, which will be on Thursday, January 4.

Hereford Racecourse

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