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Horses for courses at Yorkshire festival

The "Edible Ebor Equine" Photo:

It's horses for courses today at York racecourse - quite literally.

The hospitality team - along with set designer Bruce Emery and local food campaigner Jennifer Middleton - have created an "Edible Ebor Equine" as part of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, which begins today.

The life-size horse is constructed entirely out of Yorkshire produce, and is accompanied by a Grand Départ bicycle made of Yorkshire rhubarb.

It's to celebrate the Tour de France, which will start at York Racecourse on Sunday July 6 next year.

Standing nearly six feet high, or 16 hands, the sculptures are made from over 100 Yorkshire Puddings, baked on site, four crates of Wakefield rhubarb, 40 crates of South Yorkshire Savoy cabbage, three sacks of Vale of York carrots, a heaped basket of radishes from near Doncaster, 20 punnets of Stourton Grange strawberries, four crates of mushrooms from Thirsk and two huge sacks of freshly-harvested Wistow wheat and barley.

The unusual sculptures were also commissioned to celebrate Yorkshire produce over the four-day festival.

“We wanted to make this year’s installation a reflection on the excitement the county is feeling about hosting the Tour de France, so we decided we’d combine horsepower and pedal power in a Yorkshire food fest—so we decided to make a cycle out of that iconic Yorkshire ingredient, rhubarb.

“York Racecourse Hospitality is renowned for its use of local produce, and this year we’ve established our own herb garden at the course—tended by our head chef, David Fearnley and the racecourse Head Gardener Zac Rafferty—you can’t get more local than that.

“Using local produce on such a large scale is challenging. It’s a colossal task to keep the racegoers fed and watered on such a huge scale. The week regularly attracts 90,000 racegoers. We’re proud to be able to say that we know where our ingredients come from and our commitment to local sourcing has impressive economic implications. The beef used for these next four days alone is equivalent to the annual beef production from an average sized Yorkshire farm.

“Yorkshire is famously called the larder of Britain, creating a work of art out of local produce pays homage to all the producers and farmers that make Yorkshire what it is, Britain’s biggest and most delicious county.”

– Nick Fazackerley, Director of York Racecourse Hospitality