Famous Kiplingcotes Derby is abandoned due to waterlogged course
This year's Kiplingcotes Derby, which was due to run tomorrow (Thursday 15 March), has been abandoned due to dangerous conditions on the course.
Heavy rain over the last few days along with the prospect of little improvement in conditions led to the decision to call off England’s oldest Race.
Around a mile-long stretch of the course is waterlogged with some sections having deep wheel ruts filled with water.
Because of the treacherous conditions the trustees of the famous race have taken the tough decision to cancel it.
This is only the third time in living history that the race has had to be abandoned – the other times were during the terrible winter in 1947 and also due to the Foot and Mouth outbreak.
The race, which dates back to 1519, traditionally takes place on the third Thursday of March.
Its rules state if the race is not run one year, it must never be run again.
To make sure the tradition keeps going, organisers of the race have arranged for a horse to be walked around the course.
Next year’s Kiplingcotes Derby will mark a major landmark in the race’s history – it will be the 500th time the event has taken place.
A spokesman for the race said: “Unfortunately part of the course has been churned up by various vehicles creating dangerous channels.
“These have been filled by water from the recent downpours so we have had to take the sad decision to cancel the race.
“We have been busy contacting the competitors and anyone else we can think of to stop them coming.
“We will be walking a horse around the course to make sure the race can continue.
“The person will be officially weighed in and all the usual traditions observed before starting the race at Etton and completing the course.”
Market Weighton Councillor Peter Hemmerman is still encouraging people to visit the town if they have booked the day off for the race.
He said via Facebook: “If you were planning to visit you can still come and enjoy the delights of Market Weighton but unfortunately there will be no horse race to enjoy.”