Apology after Arabian racing at Fakenham Racecourse is called off at the last minute

Action from a previous Arabian racing event at Fakenham Racecourse.

Action from a previous Arabian racing event at Fakenham Racecourse. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant.

An apology has been made to 350 race-goers after a meeting at Fakenham Racecourse was abandoned at the last minute due to a lack of ambulance cover.

The Arabian Racing Organisation (ARO), which was due to hold its annual meeting at Fakenham on Sunday, also confirmed that Fakenham Racecourse was in no way to blame for the cancellation.

The meeting was cancelled as the first race was about to start.

Amanda Smith, ARO racing manager said: 'It was with great sadness and huge frustration that we had to call off the race meeting.

'Due to circumstances beyond our control the ambulance was not able to get to the race meeting.


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'We tried four other ambulance service providers to see if we could make other arrangements, but had no joy.

'All paying members of the public were given an instant refund and I was very humbled by the understanding attitude of the race sponsors, owners, trainers, jockeys and officials who had all travelled a long way to Norfolk. I would also like to emphasise that no blame what so ever can be attributed to Fakenham Racecourse and its staff, all of whom have been very supportive in such tricky circumstances.'

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She added: 'We apologise to everyone who turned up for the race meeting.

'If there is anyone who has not yet been refunded, they can contact us so we can arrange for this to happen as soon as possible.'

The ARO, which is based in Newbury, Berkshire, has been bringing Arabian racing to Fakenham since 1998.

The event sees horses usually used to racing in Saudi Arabia compete on Fakenham's National Hunt course.

Miss Smith said the ARO is in discussions with the ambulance service providers over what happened, but did not want to comment on this further.

She said: 'Our events in Fakenham have usually been very successful so to say we are disappointed is a huge understatement.

'We hope to be back at Fakenham next year and for many years to come without any more problems.'

The abandoned Fakenham meeting has been re-scheduled to take place in Hereford on Sunday.

For more information, contact the ARO office on 01635 524445.

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