Racegoers flooded into Ripon Racecourse as the sun shone for Sunday’s traditional Family Day.
One of five family fun days held this season, the racecourse pulled out all the stops to ensure there was a range of fun filled activities for the children to enjoy alongside some quality action on the track.
As for all race days at Ripon, all accompanied under 18s had free entry and the course enclosure was packed with families enjoying picnics in the sunshine.
The main attraction of the afternoon was a visit from the National Festival Circus, a mix of laughter and excitement including slapstick clowns, balancing equilibrists, baffling magic, and bucketfuls of fun.
The racecourse also had magic and Punch and Judy shows from Professor Dan Slater alongside a range of inflatables, face painting and fairground rides.
On the track it was jockey Silvestre De Sousa who made the headlines, winning three of the first four races, which included the feature race of the afternoon The Ripon, Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse Handicap, a £20,000 contest over six furlongs.
Erin Boswell, marketing manager, said: “We were so thrilled to see so many people enjoying the day with us.
“May’s weather has been kind to us and we look forward to more sunshine and a busy calendar of race days ahead of us.
“The family days are a big part of what we are about here at Ripon and we feel it’s so important to cater for the next generation of racegoers.”
The racecourse has had a busy start to the season with last week’s free Friday night racing bringing in more than 5,000 spectators who enjoyed live music from a Madness tribute band after the racing.
Another 4,400 spectators, not including children, enjoyed Sunday’s race day with many racegoers making use of the racecourse’s new free shuttle service in partnership with local company Sherwoods Minibuses.
Ripon hosts three more family days in August including the annual Children’s Day on Monday, August 1; Alice in Wonderland Day on August 14; and the seasonal August Bank Holiday meeting on Monday, August 28.
There are four other fixtures including Ladies’ Day on June 22 where it hosts the “Royal Ascot Of the North” on the same day as the Berkshire racecourse.