Touch and go for future of Kiplingcotes Derby
THE long-term future of the oldest horse race in England is hanging in the balance.
Organisers of the Kiplingcotes Derby, which takes place near Market Weighton, said rising health and safety costs has put the event at risk.
The historic race will celebrate its 494th anniversary on Thursday, March 21, this year.
Its rules state if the race is not run one year, it must never be run again.
IS YOUR CAR KEY BENT ? REMOTE FOB NOT WORKING ? LOST CAR KEYS ?...View details
FOR ALL YOUR CAR KEY NEEDS CALL US NOW ON
SNAPPED KEYS, LOST KEYS, KEYS LOCKED IN VEHICLES,
WE ALSO REPAIR 90% OF ALL REMOTES AND KEYS, NO FIX NO CHARGE.
Terms: FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY ONE PER CUSTOMER
SAVE £3.00 WITH THIS FREE BATTERY
Contact: 01482 423414
Contact: 01482 423414
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Farmer Guy Stephenson, one of the two trustees of the race, said regulations have made the race increasingly expensive to organise.
"It is something we have had to put up with but finding the necessary funding has not been easy," he said.
"The costs seem to be never-ending at the moment but we are doing our best to try to keep it going.
"I'm not sure what the future holds for the race. It is part of the history of the East Riding and it would be a massive loss to everyone if it couldn't continue.
"I hope it doesn't come to that and we can reach our 500th anniversary."
Organisers face a bill of almost £2,000 to hold the race including a £200 insurance policy, £370 for the ambulance service and £50 to supply stewards with high- visibility jackets.
For the first time temporary traffic lights will replace police stopping traffic on the A164.
However, the firm supplying the lights has agreed to cover the £1,200 cost for the facility this year. Market Weighton town council has also stepped in to help, providing £200 this year and setting aside £500 for next year's race.
Councillor Peter Hemmerman, mayor of Market Weighton, said the funding boost was vital.
"The Kiplingcotes Derby is an extremely historic event and it would be a terrible shame to lose it so that is why the council decided to offer some financial help," he said.
"Due to the increase in costs, the future of the race has looked a little uncertain and we wanted to help in any way we could.
"The race is not just an important event for Market Weighton. It is a tourist attraction that brings visitors from all over the country to the region and that provides more income to businesses in the area."
East Riding Council has been enlisted to help organise the race for the past two years.
John Skidmore, head of streetscene at the council, said: "In 2010, in line with guidance from Humberside Police, who historically have handled 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 such as 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 derby, which was first held when Henry VIII was on the throne, is a four-mile flat race and traditionally takes place on the third Thursday in March.