Jockey Club eliminates the dress code to attract more attendees to its big tracks

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For more than two centuries it has been an established part of the rich heritage of horse racing. But now the Jockey Club, which owns 15 of Britain’s biggest fields, has scrapped its “outdated” formal dress code as part of a campaign to make the sport more “accessible and inclusive”.

The move will mean race-goers will be able to wear what they want with immediate effect at all Jockey Club track venues, including Cheltenham, Aintree, Newmarket, Epsom and Sandown.

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In the past, Byzantine racing rules required men to wear jackets at certain venues, even during a heat wave, with jeans and shorts also often frowned upon. While last year, two race-goers were initially denied entry to Sandown’s more expensive venue on the day of the bet365 Gold Cup for wearing trainers.

The policy change was announced by Jockey Club chief executive Nevin Truesdale, who said he hoped it would bring more people to the sport.

“Horse racing has always been a sport enjoyed by people from different backgrounds and it’s really important to us to be accessible and inclusive,” he said. “We hope that by stopping putting expectations on people about what they should and shouldn’t wear, we can help highlight that racing really is for everyone.

The only exceptions to the new policy at any of the 342 matches organized by The Jockey Club are offensive costumes or offensive clothing of any kind along with replica sports shirts, while the Queen Elizabeth II Stand in Epsom will also continue to require the wearing of morning wear or formal daywear on Derby Day.

Courses that are not run by the Jockey Club, such as Ascot, will still be able to set their own rules.

“We think people have more fun when they’re relaxed,” Truesdale added. “A big part of that is wearing clothes that you feel comfortable in. When we reviewed this area of ​​the race day experience, it became clear to us that enforcing a dress code seems pretty dated in the 21st century in the eyes of many of our racers.

“Of course, that doesn’t mean we’re discouraging people from dressing up for a day at the races if they want to,” he added. “It’s about giving people a choice and the opportunity to come compete dressed as they feel most comfortable and confident, taking into account the challenges that British weather regularly presents.”

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