Wednesday 12 April

Take Time Out at Yorkshire’s Racecourses

A new initiative has been rolled out across Yorkshire’s nine racecourses to make racing more accessible for racegoers less comfortable in large crowds.

Funded by the Racing Foundation, as part of a larger community engagement grant and painted by local mural artist Jess Arthur, sunflower benches have been put in position for those racegoers that need some time out during a busy race day to reset before re-joining the action.  They are positioned so racegoers can still see the horses but in an area that is less densely populated.

Go Racing In Yorkshire Chairman, Ben Warn said,

“People go racing for the atmosphere, but we recognise that there are some racegoers who are not as comfortable in the busy crowds.  The sunflower benches are there for them to take some time out, while still in the presence of the horses to relax before returning to the action.  We are very grateful to the Racing Foundation for their support of this initiative.”

“Racing is an inclusive sport and we want to make it as accessible as possible for everyone.  Our racecourses have spent the winter months working on projects to improve accessibility and the sunflower benches are another element of this.”

Tansy Challis from the Racing Foundation said,

The Racing Foundation supports projects that focus on community engagement, inclusion and accessibility. The Sunflower Benches provide a recognisable, safe space across Yorkshire racecourses for those who may experience anxiety in a crowded environment and who may otherwise not feel able to come racing. This project sits alongside other activities we are funding, such as the Autism in Racing programme being rolled out across racecourses and activities being delivered by the Diversity in Racing Steering Group

More information about the location of the benches can be found on our website and racecourse staff will be happy to help racegoers locate them.