Ladies’ day receives a new diary date as Kelso hopes to help its community

Kelso Racecourse is aiming to put the most positive spin possible on the effects of the COVID-19 crisis by reshuffling its calendar and trying to play a significant part in helping the community.

Thursday, 9th April 2020, 2:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th April 2020, 2:10 pm
Style, elegance and colourful inventiveness are closely linked to Ladies' day at Kelso (archive image)

Ladies’ day at the Borders track has been rescheduled from May 24 to Sunday, October 4.

Managing director Jonathan Garratt said there seemed to be a high level of enthusiasm for the new date – so everyone was hoping fervently that Kelso would be permitted to gather crowds by then.

“We all need something to look forward to” was the reasoning, while all existing Ladies’ day reservations would be carried forward to October, so clients hopefully need not worry about their bookings.

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Good humour and fun are also a big part of the day out (archive image)

A statement on the course’s website and Facebook page said: “Given the uncertainty regarding public gatherings, the new date allows more than six months for the current guidance around social distancing to elapse.

“While we’ll keep arrangements under review, we’re looking forward to hosting the party of all parties.”

At present, owing to coronavirus restrictions, the racecourse office was closed and a “much- reduced team” was taking care of bare essentials.

Mr Garratt observed: “The economy is going to be in a pickle for some time” but he hoped Kelso could help its local colleagues in the industry.

“We’ll need to work together to pull the community through and I hope the racecourse will be able to play a role in that process,” he said.

“Jump racing has been suspended until July 1 at the earliest, which means Kelso’s May fixtures are abandoned.

“The racing industry is working on a plan to bring flat racing back sooner than jump racing. Although this doesn’t directly involve Kelso, the project is important – it will provide action, and possibly a lifeline, for many of our partners, including suppliers, media companies, bookmakers, racehorse trainers and owners.”

And he made this plea: “If there is a proposal to resume racing once the most stringent period of lockdown is relaxed, please lend it your support.”

Kelso’s next scheduled fixture was on September 16 and there was a small possibility that additional jump fixtures could be offered to courses in advance of that date. However, these would be more likely allocated to racecourses which traditionally staged summer fixtures.

“Either way, we’ll remain alive to all possibilities,” said Mr Garratt. “The more we can do at the racecourse, the more activity there’ll be for local suppliers and the quicker we’ll all recover.”

Referring to Ladies’ day, course bosses added: “We are mindful that deciding on an outfit can represent an extra expense. We are therefore adding a new category to our ‘best dressed’ competition for the best outfit made by your own fair hand. We know there are some very talented racegoers out there and this is an opportunity to wear something totally unique. We cannot wait to see your designs. More details will follow – in the meantime, get creative!”

The Kelso course website and Facebook page have information for anyone needing a Ladies’ day refund or who has any other questions.