Now Ascot is over one of my favourite images from last year’s Newcastle Gosforth Park Ladies Day reminds me that it’s time to turn our attention back to events closer to home – the racing calendar in the North East.
For whilst we can’t always guarantee the sunny weather that this year’s Ascot enjoyed, anyone who lives in the North East knows that there are some essential elements to enjoying summer here. These often include a day trip to the Farne Islands or Lindisfarne, followed by fish and chips at Seahouses, a drive out to Wallington or the Wall (as in Hadrian’s), the Fenwick summer sale, the Hopping’s on the Town Moor, and of course a visit to the races at Gosforth Park.
There has been flat and national jumps racing at Gosforth Park, Newcastle since 1882, and with over 60 track events held each year, it is one of the busiest tracks in the country. The track was upgraded to an all-weather surface in 2016, so racegoers can now enjoy all-year-round equestrian events.
David Williamson, who was managing director of the race course from 2002-08, is credited with introducing some pivotal dates for the Newcastle Racecourse calendar, including Ladies Day, as well as heightening the prominence of established events such as the Northumberland Plate and Fighting Fifth Hurdle. Along with the trips out and about around our region, that I mentioned earlier, these Gosforth Park events are symptomatic of summer in the North East, creating a focus both for the race course and the city, and of course, providing a boost to the local economy.
The key race days at Newcastle’s Gosforth Park racetrack in 2022 are:
- Eider Chase (February) – a tough staying race ran over fences and over 4 miles and half a furlong.
- Burradon Stakes (March) – a listed race for 3-year-olds run over 1 mile.
And still to come this year are:
- Chipchase Stake – Saturday 25 June
- Newcastle Plate Day – 2-day event 24-25 June
- Gainford Ladies Day – Thursday 23 July
- Fighting Fifth Hurdle – 26 November – a national hunt hurdles race
So if you are off to the racecourse this summer for one of these events, I hope to see you there, and don’t forget to wear a hat or headpiece to really enjoy the spirit of the racing!