All UK horse racing on 19 September has been postponed as a mark of respect due to the funeral of Her Majesty Elizabeth II taking place on that day.
Having been named a bank holiday, the funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey – the historical resting place for British royalty – from 11am.
Following the confirmation of the Queen’s passing on Thursday 8 September, UK horse racing was postponed for three days as the mourning period commenced, before resuming at the weekend with the exception of Musselburgh racecourse, due to its proximity to Edinburgh where the monarch has been lying in state.
A statement from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) read: “This will give everyone involved in British racing the opportunity to mourn Her Late Majesty’s passing and offer thanks for her contribution to our sport and the nation.”
Due to postponements, a nine-race event was held at Doncaster on Sunday to allow the Cazoo St Leger and other significant fixtures to take place, having been initially postponed.
“Her Majesty the Queen’s affinity and bond with British racing was enduring and unique, and a number of our sport’s participants have a close, direct relationship with her,” said BHA Chief Executive Julie Harrington.
“It is out of respect for this, and in sympathy with her family including King Charles III, that the sport has taken the decision to continue our suspension of fixtures into Saturday.”
The Arena Racing Company (ARC) confirmed that during the intervening period, all races and events would continue to mark the Queen’s passing with tributes to observed on-course at racecourses.
This will include flags flying at half-mast, jockeys wearing black armbands whilst riding in each race and a period of silence observed prior to the opening of each contest at every meeting.
“These marks of respect will continue to be observed until Her Majesty’s funeral next week, and further updates will follow in due course,” the ARC continued.
David Thorpe, ARC Chairman, added: “The British horseracing industry has lost a true patron and figurehead. Our gratitude goes to all of our customers, our sponsors and our fellow industry stakeholders and hope that the day might offer an opportunity to mark Her Majesty’s lifelong love for our wonderful sport.”
The news of Queen Elizabeth’s death after 70 years on the throne resulted in a range of sporting cancellations last weekend, not just in horse racing – football, cricket, rugby league and boxing matches were all pushed back.