The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that all UK racing events will be postponed on Monday 19 September for the funeral of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
The decision was endorsed by UK racing’s governing bodies, to allow horseracing stakeholders the opportunity to respect Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral that will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19th September from 1100 hrs BST.
“This will give everyone involved in British racing the opportunity to mourn Her Late Majesty’s passing and offer thanks for her contribution to our sport and the nation.” – read the BHA’s statement.
Following a three-day break, horseracing events returned across Britain on Sunday, except for Scotland’s Musselburgh Racecourse due to the Queen’s body lying in state in Edinburgh.
An additional nine-race event was hosted at Doncaster on Sunday, to ensure that Cazoo St Leger and other important races lost as result of postponements could take place.
Julie Harrington, Chief Executive of the BHA, said: “Her Majesty the Queen’s affinity and bond with British racing was enduring and unique, and a number of our sport’s participants have a close, direct relationship with her.
“ It is out of respect for this, and in sympathy with her family including King Charles III, that the sport has taken the decision to continue our suspension of fixtures into Saturday.”
Arena Racing Company (ARC) confirmed that during the intervening period, all races and events would continue to mark the Queen’s passing with tributes to observed on-course at racecourses.
ARC stated – “Flags will fly at half-mast, jockeys will wear black armbands while riding in each race and a period of silence will be observed prior to the opening race at each meeting.”
“These marks of respect will continue to be observed until Her Majesty’s funeral next week, and further updates will follow in due course”.
David Thorpe, ARC Chairman, said: “The British horseracing industry has lost a true patron and figurehead.
“Our gratitude goes to all of our customers, our sponsors and our fellow industry stakeholders and hope that the day might offer an opportunity to mark Her Majesty’s lifelong love for our wonderful sport.”