Racecourse Association 'strongly condemns' brawl at Haydock on Saturday

The Racecourse Association has "strongly condemned" the actions of people responsible for a brawl at Haydock just as the last of eight races got under way on Saturday.

wo distinct groups of men were throwing punches in among the general crowd, including women and children.

At one point a woman clutching a small child had to be led to safety after appearing to get caught up in the fighting as dozens of men traded blows before stewards eventually brought the situation under control.

"The RCA strongly condemns the appalling behaviour of a small group of racegoers whose actions have taken the shine off a fantastic Saturday of racing," the RCA said in a statement on Sunday.

"Racecourse stewards and security teams are trained to detect and close down crowd disturbances in the rare incidents when they arise, as was the case Haydock Park.

"Police are present at race meetings across the country where they deem it necessary in consultation with each racecourse.

"The RCA enjoys a close relationship with the police via the Horserace Police Practitioners Forum which enables us to share intelligence relating to events with our members.

Haydock
Credit: PA

"As the first major sporting partner of Drinkaware, the RCA and its members are committed to promoting responsible drinking and a national campaign has been activated since 2015."

Haydock officials ejected the perpetrators and Merseyside Police said one man had been arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of a controlled drug following the incident.

The force also asked anyone with information about the incident to contact police.

A Haydock Park spokesman said on Saturday evening: "We take a zero tolerance position on antisocial behaviour.

"The perpetrators were ejected at the time and we are continuing to work with the police on this matter."

The issue of violence on racecourses captured the headlines last spring when fights took place at Goodwood and Ascot on successive weekends, with tracks subsequently implementing more stringent security measures.