All posts by Dalia Courridge

Dalia Courridge

About Dalia Courridge

Marketing Executive at Fakenham Racecourse. A great lover of coffee, cakes and a great days racing.


Happy New Year!

We hope that all of our members, visitors, staff and volunteers had a great New Year’s Celebration.

Having waved 2016 goodbye, it is exciting to start 2017 with a terrific day out at the races.

Brave the rain and put your best wellies on! Get outdoors and start the year as you mean to go on.

2017 is promising to be a very exciting year with 13 quality National Hunt race meetings and despite the damp start, we are certain that New Year’s Day race meeting is going to continue to be one of the biggest meets of the year.

And just in case you’d like to consider either renewing or purchasing Annual Membership at Fakenham Races – there is still time – the membership starts from 1st January!

We look forward to welcoming all our visitors over the course of 2017!


The Racecourse Team


Hockham Primary School at Fakenham Races

Great Hockham Primary School at Fakenham Races

We were delighted to welcome Great Hockham Primary School to Fakenham Races as part of Racing to School program back on 14th October.

Pupils had a day filled with tours, showcases and learning interesting facts about racing and horses, lead by Robert Bellamy and John Pritchard.

We are very grateful to have received a fantastic email from Alexander Bowles, the Head of the Great Hockham Primary School and we decided we’d share it with you:



Dear Ollie, 

I would like you to pass on my comments to the highest levels within your organisation.

Today I took children from my school, Great Hockham Primary School and Nursery to Fakenham races under the umbrella of a ‘Racing to schools’ maths day. 

From the very outset, we were treated with absolute professionalism and a high level of hospitality and generosity. Robert Bellamy and John Pritchard were superb hosts, their kindness and good humour enabled my children to thoroughly enjoy their day. Their deep knowledge and clear passion for racing was apparent throughout the day and was passed onto the children. No question was beyond them and they were happy to answer everything the children asked them. 

The entire day was a real eye  opener for the children ( and for myself, a football, baseball and sailing man with only a slight understanding of horses!) Everyone we encountered was polite and welcoming. Because of our positive experience today, we have a highly positive attitude to the exciting sport of racing. The children loved watching the races and seeing the horses and jockeys close up.

The activities were great and the ‘behind the scenes element made the day an unforgettable experience!

I have already begun to recommend your organisation to my friends within education. I have been leading school trips since 1996. I have led trips to a wide variety of exciting destinations around the globe. Today was , without doubt, one of the very best.

Please make sure that you pass this onto Robert and John.

With sincere thanks


Fakenham Racecourse is keen to work with the local community and children in particular, to raise awareness and understanding about the sport for kings.

If you would like to arrange a day of learning for your school children, please either get in touch with us or find more information about School Workshops opportunity at Racing To School website.

Twelve of Britain’s 60 racecourses were last week named as the best in the country for racehorse owners, and awarded Gold Standard status for 2016.

The accolade, given in a competitive way for the second year, comes from the Racehorse Owners Association, the body that has represented racehorse owners for over 70 years and currently has in excess of 7,600 members.

ROA representatives visited every track in Britain at least once to assess all aspects of the raceday experience for owners. In addition, feedback was provided by hundreds of ROA members following their racecourse visits.

Racecourses are divided into two categories – large and small – with their classification decided by a range of factors, including the quality of racing and attendance figures. The six tracks in each category that were considered to provide owners with the best raceday experience will hold the Award for the next 12 months.

Those awarded the Gold Standard were as follows:

Large racecourses: Ascot; Ayr; Cheltenham; Chester; Haydock Park; and York.

Small racecourses: Fakenham; Hamilton Park; Market Rasen; Musselburgh; Newton Abbot; and Nottingham.

David Hunter, Fakenham Chief Executive, said:

‘This is a tremendous accolade for Fakenham and I am immensely proud of the small, dedicated and highly motivated team that work so hard. A year ago we opened the new Cool Roxy Bar for owners and trainers which give them first rate facilities and means we can properly look after them, this award fully justifies the investment we made.’

Alan Pickering, Chairman of the ROA’s Raceday Committee, said:

“The competitive nature of the new ROA Gold Standard Award scheme has been seen to good effect this year.  Many of those courses that demonstrated excellence in 2015 have hit even higher heights this year, whilst other courses have upped their game considerably and it is pleasing to welcome some new Award winners.   It is sad to see that there are still some courses – large and small – who continue to fall someway behind the rest when it come to the owner’s raceday experience.  We will maintain a dialogue with all courses and seek to make improvements by encouragement.  The ROA survey in 2016 clearly showed the correlation between an owners’ raceday experience and ownership retention levels and we look forward to working with those courses who do not meet the minimum requirements in 2017 and beyond.”

“The competitive nature of the new ROA Gold Standard Award scheme has been seen to good effect this year.  Many of those courses that demonstrated excellence in 2015 have hit even higher heights this year, whilst other courses have upped their game considerably and it is pleasing to welcome some new Award winners.   It is sad to see that there are still some courses – large and small – who continue to fall someway behind the rest when it come to the owner’s raceday experience.  We will maintain a dialogue with all courses and seek to make improvements by encouragement.  The ROA survey in 2016 clearly showed the correlation between an owners’ raceday experience and ownership retention levels and we look forward to working with those courses who do not meet the minimum requirements in 2017 and beyond.”

Charlie Liverton, Chief Executive of the ROA, said: “The

“The raceday experience is one of the most important aspects of the enjoyment of being a racehorse owner. The sport can endeavor to increase the number of racehorse owners only if they have a thoroughly enjoyable time on track, whether their horses are successful or not. So we are committed to working closely with racecourses to ensure that owners are looked after in the best possible way. Our awards set the Gold Standard that all racecourses can aspire to and celebrate those which go the extra mile for owners.

As our team have travelled the country this year, they have witnessed many enhancements to the owners’ race day experience, including additional complimentary admission badges, improvements in the provision of complimentary food and drink, a greater emphasis on racecourse staff providing a first-class experience, plus entertainment for placed connections as well as winners after races. We are truly grateful to all those courses that place a special emphasis on owners and their horses.

A special thanks too, to the hundreds of ROA members who have been in touch over the course of the year giving us feedback on their raceday experience; both complimentary and critical. This feedback forms part of our decision-making process and we urge all members to provide feedback where possible.”

One racecourse from each section will be named as their respective category’s ‘Racecourse of the Year’ at the annual ROA Horseracing Awards to be held in London on Thursday 1st December.

Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

New Media Partners


At The Races (‘ATR’) has recently confirmed that it has signed a new media rights agreement in respect of Fakenham, Ffos Las, Hexham, Newton Abbot and Towcester racecourses. The agreement covering all domestic non-LBO and all international media rights has been made and contracted via The Racing Partnership Limited, a new joint venture company between those five racecourses, Arena Racing Company, Plumpton Racecourse and Ripon Racecourse.


From the commencement of the deals in May 2017 and January 2018 ATR will for the first time have a direct relationship with each of the five independent tracks. To date, ATR has acquired its broadcast and other non-LBO rights to the five racecourses under licence from SIS.


ATR already has direct, long term arrangements in place with Plumpton Racecourse, Ripon Racecourse and with Arena Racing Company in relation to rights from a further 15 racecourses.


ATR also announced that its 2016 forecast for media rights payments to racecourse partners is up +21% on 2015. The company has delivered strong revenue growth in the first half of the year with Sport Mediastream, its wholly owned live video streaming division, a new website and a mobile app launch all contributing to success.


Matthew Imi, Chief Executive, At The Races, commented:


“We are very pleased to announce the continuation of what is a very valued and long term partnership for ATR with Fakenham, Ffos Las, Hexham, Newton Abbot and Towcester – all racecourses that we have a strong attachment to. We take pride in helping showcase the appeal and many qualities of racing at small, independent Jumps tracks and we look forward to working ever more closely with these five racecourses now under a direct media rights arrangement. I would also like to take the opportunity to put on record my particular thanks and best wishes to Charles Enderby at Hexham Racecourse as he hands over custodianship of what is undoubtedly one of Britain’s most loved courses and which his great-grandfather created in 1890.”

Ladies Day 2016 crop

Afternoon Tea at The Races

There are only a couple of months before the annual Ladies Day at Fakenham Racecourse takes place once again on Sunday, 22nd May 2016.

The prestigious annual event is quickly becoming one of the most prominent events in the diaries for ladies and gents across Norfolk and surrounding counties. With thrilling races, fantastic facilities and entry from only £10pp, Ladies Day at Fakenham Racecourse offers itself to be the social event of the year.

In 2016, we are very excited to be teaming up with Grice & Foster, Fakenham-based event & marquee hire business and our catering partners at The Crown Inn, at East Rudham, to provide our racegoers a brand new ‘Afternoon Tea at the Races’ package which will include the following:

Exclusive Entry and seats in the Grice & Foster Marquee,

Grandstand & Paddock Entry Badge

Complimentary Racecard

A mouthwatering Afternoon Tea from our caterers. You can see the menu HERE.

You can get ALL of the above for only £35 pp! 

Please note that the ‘Afternoon Tea at The Races’ package is NOT available on the day and MUST be booked online while availability lasts.

No bookings for this package will be taken after 1st May or before if sold out. 

book Tickets now button

Remember to dress up to the nines Ladies and Gents, there will be a number of competitions including Best Hat, Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Gentleman and, of course, Best Dressed Couple.

There are some incredible prizes to be won from local and national businesses including, but not limited to a Theatre Trip to London for two with B&B stay by Thomas Cook; a £100 voucher to spend at Ficarra’s Spa in Fakenham; Dinner, Bed & Breakfast for two  at the Crown Inn at East Rudham; Money off Thomas Cook holidays; Afternoon Tea for two from a selected locations of your choice by Thomas Cook, Fakenham; A polypin of Wherry from Woodforde’s Brewery and £50 to spend at W Parker & Son Jewellers of Fakenham.

Use this opportunity to get dressed up, bring your girlfriends ( and boyfriends if you wish!) to this annual event and if you don’t fancy our ‘Afternoon Tea at The Races’ package – you can get an entry from only £10pp for Course enclosure and £15pp for Grandstand & Paddock.

It is set to be a thrilling day out for all and we look forward to seeing all of you in May!


ladies day 2014 002

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walking the courses

Walking The Courses Raises £2893.42 at Fakenham

It was a tremendous effort of Richard Farquhar and his team at Walking the Courses at the last meet here at Fakenham Races on 18th February with a HUGE grand total of £2893.42  raised for Pancreatic Cancer UK & Racing Welfare charities. Richard has so far raised a total of £308,179.71 ( correct as of Wednesday, 16th March

Richard has so far raised a staggering total of £308,179.71 ( correct as of Wednesday, 16th March)

You can also show your support Richard and donate online HERE.

Here are some thoughts from  the man himself:

Leg 52, Day 3 Great Yarmouth Racecourse to Fakenham Racecourse.  What a fantastic day!

Minty and I stopped off at Fakenham racecourse on our way to the start to pick up fellow One Too Many Partners syndicate member Alex Acloque, as well as old friend and huge jump race enthusiast Charlie Arkwright, along with Simon Birdseye, returning for his second WTC outing.

We drove the short distance to Sennowe Park, where Hugh and Jenny Collingridge were waiting, with delicious fruit cake, port and damson gin at the ready!

A few minutes later the Newmarket minibus turned up and decanted some of Newmarket’s finest: William Haggas, Sir Michael Stoute, Roger Varian and the hottest trainer around currently Stuart Williams. Also onboard were Michael and Richard Hills, with other halves Chris and Jaci, as well as Diana Cooper and Penny Taylor, from various corners of Sheikh Mohammed’s empire, and Gay Jarvis.

We set off through the magnificent Sennowe Park, following Jenny Collingridge, who had kindly arranged with the owners that we could do so and, in so doing, save ourselves a mile or two. We were all struck by the magnificence of the house and the park surrounding it.

Over the course of the seven miles or so to the racecourse we encountered some interesting terrain, largely as a result of the footpaths in the area having been neglected and consequently they had gone to rack and ruin. After about two hours or so and the odd slip-up on the muddy paths we arrived at the racecourse.

We were greeted by Jim McGrath from At The Races who interviewed a few of us, before we set off on the course walk, for which we were joined by Lisa Kozak, travelling head lass for Oliver Sherwood Racing, who has been such an ally to us over the past year.

The course walk was notable for more trainers jumping antics! Having once again shown the clip of Ben Pauling’s remarkable effort last month at Market Rasen Racecourse, two of today’s company decided to take up the challenge to jump a hurdle.

One, Roger Varian, was spring heeled and cleared it with equal measures of ease and elegance. The other, who should remain nameless, was not quite as successful, and ended up in a heap on the deck! Bloody good effort though, Stuart!!

After the course walk my walking companions headed for the new and extremely comfortable owners and trainers bar, whilst Minty and I went off for a very nice lunch with the Chairman.

Having watched the first race from the middle of the course, during which I learned that Roger Varian had ridden seven winners under rules over jumps, which I never knew, it was off to the paddock to judge the best turned out in our race…..the extraordinarily named The Richard Farquhar (A Good Man) Walking Courses Selling Handicap Hurdlle! After the race I presented the prize to winning connections and did an interview.

Typical of Fakenham’s amazing kindness to us was an auction conducted on our behalf after the third race, with a trip to Sandringham Stud and a morning at Lucy Wadham’s yard on offer, followed by an afternoon’s racing. The two lots raised more than £1,000 which was fantastic. And we heard later in the afternoon that another racegoer had matched the bid for the stud visit, so even more money heading for WTC.

The crowd had been swelled and enhanced by a huge media presence, as a result of Victoria Pendeleton’s first ride under rules in a Hunter Chase. She was riding the horse she is due to partner at Cheltenham in the Foxhunters in a month’s time. Most unfortunately Victoria was unseated when, jumping the fence in front of the stands, the horse just in front of her jumped awkwardly and, with one of its hind legs, flicked Victoria’s foot out of the stirrup. Incredibly unlucky, but as she said later “That’s racing”.

We had been shaking buckets to great effect all afternoon and continued as racegoers left the course.

One of the most striking things of the past year has been the warmth, kindness and willingness to help that racecourses have shown us. I can honestly say that Fakenham has no peer in that regard. The racecourse team, led by David Hunter, could not have been more helpful and more willing to ensure we had a good day. Fakenham is a wonderful racecourse that is very well supported by the local Norfolk population, very well run, puts up excellent prize money to attract the big trainers and good horses and clearly cares passionately about the experience that racegoers have. Consequently it has the happiest atmosphere of any racecourse I have ever visited. If you have never been, you should. You will enjoy your visit.

Accordingly, we must pass on our thanks, most notably to David Hunter, whose drive and humour are completely infectious, to the Chairman Nigel and his wife for a splendid lunch, to Sam Bullard for his help in the auction and for ensuring that Minty and I met everyone we needed to!

Thanks also are due to all the Newmarket team, who gave up a day to come in a minibus to deepest Norfolk to support me. Before today I had never met William Haggas, Roger Varian, Sir Michael Stoute or Stuart Williams, nor many of the supporting cast. To them and to Diana Cooper, Michael and Richard Hills and their better halves and to Penny Taylor and Gay Jarvis I say a huge thank you! Your demonstration of support was greatly appreciated! Finally our thanks to Rosie Edgington who had us to stay and looked after us so well and to Hugh and Jenny Collingridge for feeding and watering us so splendidly.


Victoria Pendleton comes to Fakenham Races

Victoria Pendleton to race at Fakenham on 19th February


  • Pendleton will ride Pacha Du Polder over 3 miles at Fakenham on Friday February 19
  • Nicholls told, “should Victoria reach Cheltenham, her and Pacha Du Polder are more than capable of finishing in the first six”
  • “Victoria’s improvement since challenge began is phenomenal” says Nicholls


Champion trainer, Paul Nicholls, has revealed in his latest Betfair blog that Victoria Pendleton will ride Pacha Du Polder in her first Hunter Chase at Fakenham on Friday, February 19.

Champion Trainer Nicholls told betting.betfair: “Fakenham is the logical target after their excellent debut together when they failed by inches to land a Point-to-Point at Milborne St Andrew on January 31. It is important for Victoria to gain experience in a Hunter Chase before considering a tilt at the ultimate challenge of riding in the St James’s Place Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham in March.”

The three mile Hunter Chase at Fakenham is seen as yet another step towards Pendleton’s ambitious goal of riding in the St James’ place Foxhunters Chase at Cheltenham.

Nicholls added: “The race over 3 miles at Fakenham, an easy track, looks ideal and comes at a perfect time before Cheltenham. Pacha Du Polder is a very classy chaser, a brilliant jumper, travels well in his races, has smart form over Aintree’s National fences and showed he stayed three miles at Milborne St Andrew.”

Nicholls was full of praise for Pendleton, and her Cheltenham chances, telling Betfair: “I wanted to be satisfied at Milborne St Andrew that Victoria was ready for Hunter Chases and I’d say she passed the examination with flying colours. She sits quietly on a horse, is tidy over a fence and unbelievably determined. Frankly the improvement Victoria has made since she began this odyssey is phenomenal and she now looks the part when she comes down to Ditcheat to ride on our gallops. Should Victoria reach Cheltenham, her and Pacha Du Polder are more than capable of finishing in the first six.”

Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course David Hunter is delighted with the news: “I am thrilled that Fakenham will be playing it’s part in Victoria’s admirable and fantastic quest to ride in The Fox Hunter’s at Cheltenham. She is a truly remarkable Olympian and for her to come to Fakenham to have her first ride in a race under professional race conditions and regulation size fences, is a huge privelige. We look forward welcoming her, Pacha Du Polder, her family, her friends and her tariner Paul Nicholls to Fakenham on 19th February and fingers crossed that in the intervening period Victoria and Pacha remain fit and ready to race and that the weather is on our side.”

Paul Nicholls’ blog was posted on and all quotes should be attributed to this source.


To read the full article by Paul Nicholls visit

Active Fakenham

A spectacle and fun Easter day out in Fakenham

Fakenham town centre is due to become a race track and venue for a series of fun and exciting events.  Easter Sunday, March 27th.  will see Fakenham host its first Criterium Cycle races, a 5K running race and 1k fun run as parts of the town will be closed to traffic to create a one-kilometre circuit.  There will also be food, stalls and activities.


Richard Crook, Chairperson of Active Fakenham, which is putting on the event said, “For the last couple of years we have put on the Shopkeepers Olympics and Showcase Day, this year we are planning something a bit different.  Criterium racing is an exciting spectacle where dozens of bikes lap closed roads in the town centre for a fixed period of time.  The circuit will have up to 2k of barriers; the bikes follow a motor bike and have sophisticated electronic timers attached.  As well as the bike races we are planning a large 5k running race with up to 250 runners and an Easter Fun Run where all children entering will earn the Easter egg they will be given at the end of their run or walk”.


Now is the time to book a place as the organisers expect to reach capacity and may not be able to take bookings on the day.  The runs are for all ages and abilities (minimum age 11 for 5k), Day licences are available for the youth and category 4 cycle races and it is all free to spectators. Activities and stalls are available for clubs, businesses and organisations.


Richard added, “It’s an exciting spectacle because it’s a series of lap races and people get to see a lot as the runners and riders circle the town and we hope to have a running commentary.  The aim is to encourage people to get active, have a good time and enjoy the town on a Bank Holiday.  We have had good support from sponsors including, Aldiss, North Norfolk District Council, Fakenham Sports &Fitness Centre, the Fakenham Racecourse and others.  What is particularly pleasing to me is that there has been great voluntary support from locals and others across the county; Black Bikes from Sheringham will be sending a team to run the cycle registration, a team is coming from Kings Lynn to help marshal, local runners are helping get the run together and groups in Norwich are leafletting the City. Fakenham’s cycle club, the East Coast Riders are supporting the event and several riders from the club will be racing.”


Here, at Fakenham Racecourse, we are delighted to be supporting Richard and his team who are behind Active Fakenham and encourage as many of you to join in. It will not only be a fun day out, but it will also help to involve the local community in becoming more active and promote an active lifestyle. Listen to Richard’s interview about the event on North Norfolk Radio HERE.


After all that fun, remember to join us at the Easter Monday race meeting on 28th March. With 7 thrilling races, plenty of things to do for the little ones and our lovely Easter Bunny, it will be a great day out for the whole family. Bring your loved ones and well –behaved pets too!

You can pre-book your entry badges online now and save £2 off any badge price with our Early Bird option (available until 7th March 2016)! Book your badges HERE.

Easter Monday Raceday at Fakenham Racecourse