A family fun day at Kelso Racecourse at the weekend was an odds-on success

A Day at the Races has certainly changed since the Marx Brothers movie of that name was released in 1937.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 3:53 pm
Jockey Connor O'Farrell with Heather MacLeod, Arthur Brooke and Alice White. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Jockey Connor O'Farrell with Heather MacLeod, Arthur Brooke and Alice White. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Even when the legendary British rock band Queen debuted their LP with the same title in 1976 the notion of family fun days was not on the agenda.

But change has been embraced at Kelso Racecourse, where there was something for all the family to enjoy with an interactive day full of fun and excitement on Sunday.

Happily, the weather behaved itself and there were lots of activities going on across the afternoon with the Scottish Racing Academy providing a ‘hands on’ racing experience, offering bouncy castles, face painting, a merry-go-round and, of course, lots of racing to enjoy.

Finalists in the fancy dress competition, Robyn McNulty, Anna Skeldon, Myles McNulty, Reagan Strachan and Sheeran Reid, judged by Jonathan Garratt MD at Kelso Races and Hanna Farrell of the SRA. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

In addition there were prizes on offer for a kids fancy dress competition, in which competitors were asked to dress up as their favourite book characters.

To ensure that the day was accessible to all family budgets under 18's were allowed in free when accompanied by a paying adult.

As elsewhere in society the pandemic is having an impact on the racecourse.

The spectator capacity for all Kelso fixtures between now and the end of the year will be restricted to 4,000.

Robyn and Anna Skeldon with Myles McNulty at Kelso Races fancy dress. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

On Sunday there was a beautiful Bell Tent for those with babies in tow.

Scottish Racing Academy was set up in the marquee next to the parade ring where visitors could learn about the ‘Sport of Kings’.

Finally, if you needed a caffeine boost @theperfectshottrailer was based in front of the stands ready to serve favourite coffees and snacks.

All that and seven races on the card to enjoy too.

Louise Sanderson, with George and Laura Stanners, Ewan, Aoife and Adie Whillans. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
SRA's Rachel McDonald demonstrates her mechanical horse to Jamie and Abbie Stewart and Henry and Emily Elphick from Earlston. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Polly Cregan from Melrose with Beth, Effie, Olivia, Annabelle and Andrew enjoying the family day at Kelso Races. Photo: (BILL McBURNIE)
Hayley Moffat and Isla Laidlaw from Selkirk enjoying Kelso race course family day. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Poppy Brown and Molly Robson from Kelso. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)