Three-year ban for businessman after racecourse fight

PUBLISHED: 07:42 04 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:22 04 December 2019

Daniel Grocott. Picture: Ian Burt/Archant Library

Daniel Grocott. Picture: Ian Burt/Archant Library


A businessman has been banned from all racecourses across the country for three years following a fight that broke out at Fakenham Racecourse on Ladies’ Day.

David Hunter, chief executive of Fakenham Racecourse. Picture: ArchantDavid Hunter, chief executive of Fakenham Racecourse. Picture: Archant

Daniel Grocott has received a three-year exclusion order from The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) following the incident on Sunday, June 2.

David Hunter, chief executive of Fakenham Racecourse, said the ban sent a "clear message" that aggressive behaviour would not be tolerated at the races.

Mr Hunter said: "Racing had finished, and the last hundred odd race-goers were happily enjoying a final drink and the disco in the evening sun when a fight started at about 7.30pm.

"The police quickly arrived and immediately took statements from those involved and from bystanders. Fortunately, no one was badly hurt but it was very frightening and disturbing for those who witnessed it.

The fight happened following a day of races at Fakenham Racecourse. Picture: Ian BurtThe fight happened following a day of races at Fakenham Racecourse. Picture: Ian Burt

"This was an isolated incident which I hope does nothing to tarnish Fakenham's impeccable and proud record of being a friendly and safe place for people to come and enjoy the racing and socialise.

"Fakenham police and the BHA have done an outstanding investigation, for which I am very grateful, and the ban sends a very clear message that Fakenham Racecourse and British Racing will not tolerate any form of aggressive or anti-social behaviour."

Robin Mounsey, BHA's head of media, added: "Antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated on racecourses, where the overwhelming majority of race-goers want to take part in a relaxed and enjoyable experience.

"Should individuals be identified as being responsible for violent or aggressive behaviour then we will not hesitate to pursue their exclusion from premises licensed by the BHA."

Daniel Grocott. Picture: Ian Burt/Archant LibraryDaniel Grocott. Picture: Ian Burt/Archant Library

The order means Mr Grocott is banned from all British racecourses and racing-related establishments, and cannot enter any premises licensed by the BHA or liaise with any licensed or registered person in connection with horseracing in Great Britain.

The ban runs until October 28, 2022.

Mr Grocott said: "I am disappointed with the way the investigation has been handled. I have not been interviewed by the Police or the BHA following the alleged incident. The fight was between other race-goers who had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol during the course of the day. I feel I have been made a scapegoat and this has caused me and my family considerable distress."

The annual Ladies' Day event, which is a highlight of Norfolk's social and racing calendar, saw prizes given for the best-dressed lady, the best hat, and the best-dressed couple by partner Jarrold.

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