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Jockey Club scraps formal dress rule at its 15 courses to make horseracing 'more accessible and inclusive'

The change in dress code comes into place with immediate effect and has been introduced to make racing more "accessible and inclusive".

Racegoers at the course early for the Derby horse race meeting at Epsom racecourse, near London, England, Saturday, June 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Ian Walton)
Image: The formal dress code has been a stable on race days around the country for several years

The Jockey Club have said it will end formal dress rules at all of its courses to make horseracing more "accessible and inclusive".

The rule covers the club's 15 venues and fans are now being told to "dress as you feel most comfortable and confident".

The change takes place with immediate effect and follows a review of dress codes and feedback from racegoers.

Racecourses that come under The Jockey Club's remit include Aintree, Carlisle, Haydock Park, Epsom Downs, Kempton Park, Sandown Park, Huntingdon, Market Rasen, Newmarket, Nottingham, Cheltenham, Exeter, Warwick, The Jockey Club Rooms and Wincanton.

Explaining the decision, Nevin Truesdale, chief executive at The Jockey Club, said: "Horseracing has always been a sport enjoyed by people from all different backgrounds and it's really important to us to be accessible and inclusive.

"We hope that by no longer placing an expectation upon people of what they should and shouldn't wear, we can help highlight that racing really is for everyone.

"For those who visit our venues, a day at the races is all about spending quality leisure time with friends and family and we believe people enjoy themselves best when they feel relaxed. A major part of that is wearing clothing which you are comfortable in.

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"While The Jockey Club has a rich heritage and history, it is also a forward-thinking organisation which places a great emphasis on diversity and inclusion and always seeks to reflect modern trends.

"So, when we reviewed this area of the raceday experience, it has been clear to us that enforcing a dress code seems rather outdated in the 21st Century in the eyes of many of our racegoers.

"Of course that doesn't mean we are discouraging people from dressing up for a day at the races if they want to. This is about giving people a choice and the opportunity to come racing dressed however they feel most comfortable and confident, while also bearing in mind the challenges regularly presented by the British weather!"

Truesdale added that while The Jockey Club is making this change in 2023, there have already been a significant number of fixtures where dress codes have not been in place.

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