- Quote: ‘You are allowed to do everything at Cartmel that you can’t do at any other racecourse’ – racecourse director, Geraldine McKay
By Andrew Atkinson
Cartmel’s August Bank Holiday weekend meetings on Saturday, 28 and Monday, August 30 is like no other – with a blessing of the racehorse at the ancient Priory on August 29.
“You are allowed to do everything at Cartmel that you can’t do at any other racecourse,” said racecourse director, Geraldine McKay.
Cartmel, who first staged a meeting in 1856, is today owned by the Holker Estate.
It is believed that the monks of Cartmel Priory were the first to instigate racing on the parkland at Cartmel from at least the middle of the 15th century.
All winning jockeys, trainers and owners will receive a Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding!
“You can bring your own food and drink, have a barbeque, bring your own furniture – set up your own base camp,” said McKay.
Ahead of thousands of racegoers set to attend Cartmel this weekend before the curtain comes down for the season on August 30, McKay said: “People come and set up, then pop into the village for a meal at a pub – get some sticky toffee pudding – then come back.
“It’s a unique atmosphere, unlike any other race meeting. If you have been before, we welcome you back.
“And if you are just hearing about Cartmel Races for the first time, come and try it. There is nothing else quite like it.”
Cartmel is one of the most picturesque in the country, set beyond the southern edge of the Lake District National Park in beautiful parkland, next to Cartmel village.
A funfair, shopping trade stands, and food and drink, showcasing local real ales, prime beef, venison burgers, crepes, and fish and chips.
You can take your own food, drink and barbeque, and set up camp. Dogs are welcome, kept on leads.
On the seven racecard meetings, the Cartmel Cup is featured on August 28, with the season race finale on August 30, featuring the Peter Beaumont Memorial Handicap Steeple Chase.
A special church service is held on August 29, at Cartmel’s 800-year-old Priory, with local trainer Jimmy Moffatt annually taking racehorses to the Priory door to meet the public.
Reverend Nick Devenish said: “The blessing of the racehorse service at The Priory has become part of the tradition of the August bank holiday.
“It is a great community occasion, bringing churchgoers and visitors together to give thanks for the wonder of creation.
“In that wonder we ask for God’s blessing upon all those who are involved in horse racing.
“It is one of the high points of The Priory’ s busy year and everyone is welcome.”
Caption: A special church service is held on August 29, at Cartmel’s 800-year-old Priory.