17th Feb 2022

Friday 18th February Race Meeting Abandoned


The scheduled seven-race meeting at Fakenham for this afternoon (Friday) became racing’s first victim of Storm Eunice when it was called off yesterday (Thursday) lunchtime.

Extremely high winds are expected, in a storm forecasted to be one of the worst for 30 years. Fakenham elected to abandon racing ahead of time.

Chief executive David Hunter said: “We decided to cancel in view of the amber warning that had been put out for Storm Eunice, which is danger to life.

“We have been forecast winds between 70 and 80mph between midday and 3pm on Friday and I think it would be irresponsible of us to consider putting a race meeting on, for travel especially.

“We would have people and horses travelling from all over the country which would be dangerous and even if they get here it would be dangerous with the possibility of flying debris.

“This is unprecedented. In 25 years I’ve never had a meeting that has been affected by such strong winds. This is a serious storm and I think we’ve made the correct decision to call it early so people can plan ahead.

“If someone was injured we would be in a very poor position and people would question why we were putting on a meeting in the middle of a weather bomb,” he added.

The next scheduled meeting at Fakenham is on Friday, March 18, the same day as the National Hunt season’s Blue Riband event, the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.

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David Hunter