RCA condemns 'appalling behaviour' of those involved in Haydock brawl

Fight broke out before last race on Saturday card

  • Sunday 17 February
  • News
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The Racecourse Association has “strongly condemned” the actions of people responsible for a brawl at Haydock just as the last of eight races got under way on Saturday.

Two distinct groups of men were throwing punches in among the general crowd, including women and children.

At one point a woman clutching a small child had to be led to safety after appearing to get caught up in the fighting, before stewards eventually brought the situation under control.

“The RCA strongly condemns the appalling behaviour of a small group of racegoers whose actions have taken the shine off a fantastic Saturday of racing,” the RCA said in a statement on Sunday.

“Racecourse stewards and security teams are trained to detect and close down crowd disturbances in the rare incidents when they arise, as was the case Haydock Park.

“Police are present at race meetings across the country where they deem it necessary in consultation with each racecourse.

“The RCA enjoys a close relationship with the police via the Horserace Police Practitioners Forum which enables us to share intelligence relating to events with our members.

“As the first major sporting partner of Drinkaware, the RCA and its members are committed to promoting responsible drinking and a national campaign has been activated since 2015.”

One man was arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of a controlled drug but nobody has been charged, Merseyside Police said on Sunday.

Haydock officials ejected the perpetrators, and a spokesperson for the course said on Sunday: “We are extremely disappointed by the incident, which is completely out of character with a jumps fixture in February.

“Our security teams were on hand to bring this under control and eject those involved, and we had ample security to do so.

“We involved the police who we are continuing to work with on this matter and those involved will be banned from Haydock Park and all other venues in our group.

“We take a zero-tolerance approach because there can be no place for this type of behaviour in British horse racing.”

A statement from the British Horseracing Authority read: “Haydock Park has stated they will take a zero-tolerance response to this issue.

“We will support the racecourse and the RCA in taking the appropriate action regarding crowd security.”

The issue of violence on racecourses captured the headlines last spring when fights took place at Goodwood and Ascot on successive weekends, with tracks subsequently implementing more stringent security measures.

RCA condemns 'appalling behaviour' of those involved in Haydock brawl
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