ORGANISERS of the country’s oldest horse race are facing increasing costs through extra health and safety requirements.
For the first time, temporary traffic lights will replace police stopping motorists as horses dash across the busy A614 to the finish line in the Kiplingcotes Derby.
Organisers of the race, which takes place near Market Weighton, are also having to spend £370 on an ambulance and are having to kit out stewards in high-visibility jackets.
This year, the firm supplying the lights is picking up the £1,200 tab, but trustee Guy Stephenson is unsure what will happen next year.
Mr Stephenson said they didn’t have a problem with the ambulance, but increasing costs were a concern, adding: “It is a bit of a worry whether we can keep this thing going on or not. I hope we can and at least get to our 600-year (anniversary).”
Market Weighton town council is helping by giving the race £200 this year and £500 next.
East Riding Council’s head of streetscene services John Skidmore said: “In 2010, in line with guidance from Humberside Police, who historically have handled traffic management for the event, the police requested the council work with the organisers to improve traffic and crowd management, stewarding and marshalling and ensure public safety, at the same time as enjoying this terrific event.
“The council is keen to see major events like the Kiplingcotes Derby, which attracts a significant turnout of spectators, continue to be enjoyed, but that this is done so in a safe manner.”
The race starts near the village of Etton and finishes at Londesborough Wold Farm, north of Market Weighton.
The next Kiplingcotes Derby is on 21 March.