Market Rasen Racecourse will host the UK’s first-ever “sensory” raceday experience aimed at those living with sight and hearing loss as part of its Family Extravaganza Raceday this Sunday (July 31st).

The Lincolnshire venue’s charity partnership with Deafblind UK has led to the exciting new innovation, which will see the big screens featuring a sign language interpreter as part of race commentary for all seven races. 

In addition, a dedicated area will be created by the last fence to enhance the sensory experience for those with audio or visual impairments and for two races the commentator and raceday presenter will be briefed specifically to create extra descriptive details aimed at those who are visually impaired.

Market Rasen’s enhanced big screen coverage on Sunday will be produced by RaceTech, which works with The Jockey Club across all 15 of its racecourses.

Joe Callan, The Jockey Club’s Interim General Manager at Market Rasen, said: “We are striving to make racing more accessible for racegoers with disabilities, but recognise there is still significant work to do to ensure that those living with both visible and hidden disabilities can enjoy a fully inclusive day at the races. 

“There is activity taking place across racing involving the RCA, Live Tourism and others designed to enhance the experience for those living with disability and assess the customer experience from this perspective. 

“As part of the work we are doing at The Jockey Club to ensure racing is a sport for all, we are excited to be delivering a ‘sensory’ raceday experience for our audio and visually impaired visitors as part of our Family Extravaganza Raceday on July 31st.

“The plans for this Sunday have come about through our charity partnership with Deafblind UK and we are grateful for the ongoing support and assistance. As part of our commitment all races on the day will feature Deafblind UK in the race title and we will be donating £1 from every pre-booked ticket.”

Steve Conway, CEO of Deafblind UK, said: “There are thousands of people living with sight and hearing loss in the UK, for whom horseracing brings as much excitement and adrenaline as it does to everyone else. This partnership means that we can help more people who are living with deafblindness to enjoy horseracing and other sports.

“We are extremely grateful to Market Rasen Racecourse for the opportunity and we hope that together we can help to make sports and entertainment accessible to everyone.”

There is entertainment for all ages to enjoy on Family Extravaganza Raceday with inflatables, face painting, kids racecards and animal encounters with ZooLab & Rand Farm Park.

Tickets are still available via Prices start at just £12, with £1 from every pre-booked ticket donated to Deafblind UK.

About Market Rasen Racecourse

Founded in 1924, Market Rasen stages more than 20 Jump racing fixtures throughout the year in picturesque rural Lincolnshire. Highlights include the Summer Plate meeting in mid-July which features the Summer Plate and Summer Handicap Hurdle races (both Listed), centrepieces of the summer jumping calendar.

The racecourse is known for its family-friendly atmosphere with a number of Family Fun Days throughout the spring and summer. Other major fixtures include the annual beer festival in September and competitive racing on Boxing Day. 

It is owned by The Jockey Club, one of the largest sports businesses operating in the UK today (2019 turnover: £216.5 million), an organisation at the heart of so many aspects of Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport. The Jockey Club runs 15 of the UK’s leading racecourses – large and local, where it is charged with looking after some of the nation’s biggest events, including the Randox Grand National at Aintree, The Festival at Cheltenham, The Cazoo Derby at Epsom Downs and the QIPCO Guineas Festival in Newmarket. 

Thousands of racehorses a year are welcomed to training centres in Newmarket, Lambourn and Epsom. The Jockey Club runs The National Stud in Newmarket and its charity, Racing Welfare, makes help available to all of racing’s people. The Jockey Club is governed by Royal Charter to act for the long-term benefit of British Racing and its Patron is Her Majesty The Queen.

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