Increase in prize money on the cards at Pontefract Racecourse

Following the promising return of a limited number of spectators, Pontefract Racecourse has announced they are increasing their level of executive contribution to prize money for the rest of the 2021 season, starting with their next race meeting on Sunday.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 8:00 am
Racing action at Pontefract in 2021. Picture: Alan Wright
Racing action at Pontefract in 2021. Picture: Alan Wright

Managing director Norman Gundill MBE said: “We have been thrilled to welcome back both an increased number of owners and a limited number of spectators to the racecourse.

“We are acutely aware of the huge part that owners play in racing and that they, like every part of the industry, have had their own severe financial difficulties.

“From the race meeting on Sunday onwards we will be raising the minimum value of each class of race, increasing our overall prize money for the season to over £1.1million.

"While our revenue remains severely compromised until the public are able to return in full, racegoers are now providing a limited income stream and we want to play our small part in helping owners, trainers and jockeys.”

Mr Gundill added: “Before the pandemic, we were extremely proud to be able to offer prize money above minimum value for every race at Pontefract and, as things slowly return to normal, we want to reassure owners and trainers that our intention is to improve prize money levels as quickly as possible.

“If that means we have to put further improvement schemes at the racecourse on hold for the time being, then we will do so.”

Pontefract have also been able to increase the number of owners able to return to the track.

Chief operating officer Richard Hammill explained: "We are keen to help owners get back on the course so that they can see their horses running.

"We have taken a proportion of the limited number of general admission tickets that we are allowed to sell at the moment off sale so that we can accommodate the number of owners that we welcomed to the course pre-Covid.

"While we continue to have severe restrictions on the number of people who can access the indoor areas (including the Owners & Trainers Bar and Restaurant), as well as the Parade Ring and Winners Enclosure, we hope that we will be able to accommodate all requests from owners for additional badges. ’

For more information, view the course’s website at www.pontefract-races.co.uk or call the administration offices on 01977 781307.