Fakenham racing abandoned seconds before race over emergency vehicle accessibility issues

Fakenham racing has been abandoned due to accessibility issues by the emergency vehicleFakenham racing has been abandoned due to accessibility issues by the emergency vehicle
Fakenham racing has been abandoned due to accessibility issues by the emergency vehicle | Getty Images
Fakenham racing has been abandoned due to accessibility issues by the emergency vehicle

Popular horse racing (January 2) at Fakenham was abandoned seconds it was due to start because the ambulance was unable to access the site. The race, which was scheduled to start at 12.30pm, was called off after Racing TV presenters at the Norfolk venue were told of concern over accessibility issues by the emergency vehicle.

The race can only take place in the presence of an ambulance, which follows the runners and riders in case of an emergency situation.

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An ambulance follows the runners and riders in every race and the contest cannot take place if an ambulance is not present. Dan Barber said on TV - where cameras showed the packed stand - the delay came because 'the ambulance keeps getting stuck'.

David Hunter, clerk of the course, told the Racing Post: "My medical team have done some trials and are very concerned the ground is so slippery that they would not be able to get an ambulance to a stricken jockey in the required time, which is one minute. It's really hard luck, but we've got to accept what the medical officer said."

An official BHA statement read: "A Stewards enquiry is being held @FakenhamRC following concerns raised by the Medical Team regarding their ability to access certain parts of the course in order to service any incidents."

Fakenham racing has been abandoned due to accessibility issues by the emergency vehicleFakenham racing has been abandoned due to accessibility issues by the emergency vehicle
Fakenham racing has been abandoned due to accessibility issues by the emergency vehicle | Getty Images

But barely seconds later it was confirmed the entire seven-race card had been scrapped.

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Hunter said it was "beyond regrettable and it's absolutely sickening" that the race had to be called off. He also apologised to the spectators. He said: "I'm really, really sorry for everyone who has arrived and we will be giving a full refund."

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