- Prince Philip, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh passed away last week at the age of 99.
- His funeral is set for Saturday at 3 PM local time in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
- The British Horseracing Authority has rescheduled weekend events as not to conflict with the funeral.
The United Kingdom lost a national treasure late last week with the passing of Prince Phillip, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Phillip served the British people with consummate class, flair and a notoriously quick–sometimes acerbic–wit. The Duke of Edinburgh was an enthusiastic sportsman himself and for that reason it is only fitting that the British Horseracing Authority has taken a number of steps to not only pay their respects but to make sure that racing fixtures aren’t run in conflict with memorial events.
Almost immediately upon new of the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, British Horseracing Authority Chair Annamarie Phelps released this statement:
“The British Horseracing Authority is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. We owe him a considerable debt of gratitude for his many years of tireless public service and dedication. We offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and The Royal Family.”
With the Grand National set to run at Aintree on the day following the death of Prince Philip, the BHA was quick to make sure that respects were paid at racing fixtures nationwide:
The Duke’s passing will be marked at racecourses across Britain at fixtures tomorrow.
The tributes will be spearheaded at Aintree for the Randox Grand National where there will be a further two minutes’ silence, following the one held today. Jockeys will again wear black armbands and flags will be flown at half-mast.
Similar tributes will be held at the fixtures at Chepstow, Lingfield Park, Wolverhampton and Newcastle.
The Horseracing Authority has now moved to make sure that British racing events aren’t held in conflict with the funeral ceremony. For that reason, no racing will be held between 2:45 PM and 4:15 PM local time on Saturday, April 17. The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral is set for Saturday at 3 PM local time in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
As a mark of respect for the funeral ceremony of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, it has been agreed that no racing will take place in Great Britain between 2:45pm and 4:15pm on Saturday 17 April.
As a result, the Coral Scottish Grand National fixture at Ayr and the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials fixture at Newbury will now be moved from Saturday 17 to the afternoon of Sunday 18 April. Full race times will be finalised tomorrow.
A press release issued by the BHA further detailed schedule changes for this weekend:
- Fixtures at Bangor-on-Dee and Thirsk racecourses on 17 April moved to an early start so as to conclude by 14:45. Race times to be announced tomorrow.
- Fixtures at Brighton and Nottingham on 17 April to be staged on or near their planned start times, though minor race time adjustments may be announced tomorrow.
- There will be no ITV Racing broadcast on Saturday 17 April but they will broadcast on Sunday 18 April from 12.55 until 16.00 showing five races from Ayr and four from Newbury as planned on the main ITV channel.
- The Fridays of the Scottish Grand National at Ayr and Spring Trials meeting at Newbury will go ahead as planned on 16 April.
- Fixtures at Stratford and Wincanton will go ahead on Sunday 18 April as planned.
British racing will continue to appropriately reflect the period of national mourning at fixtures through to Saturday 17 April, including wearing of black armbands and flags flying at half-mast.