The 2016 season looks set to arrive in style at Beverley Racecourse as the popular East Yorkshire track welcomes troops from the Queen's Own Yeomanry to honour the monarch's 90th birthday.
The Queen, who visited Beverley Racecourse in 2002, celebrates her 90th birthday on the 21st April, with her official birthday celebrations due to be held in June. To mark the occasion and honour one of racing's greatest supporters, Beverley Racecourse, who are holding their second race meeting of the new season on this date, will be enlisting the help of the Queen's Own Yeomanry.
The QOY, a Reservist Light Cavalry Reconnaissance Unit, known more specifically as A Squadron QOY or ‘Yorkshire Cavalry’, has recently returned to re-open its Hull Detachment in Halifax Barracks. After a ten year absence they hope to persuade local people to take up the unique challenge of being part of the Army Reserves. The unit enjoys close ties with the Royal Family and a historic past with Beverley Racecourse, with an annual Yeomanry race held on course until around 1950.
On the 21st April, the unit will bring three of their armoured vehicles for racegoers to get their hands on, along with serving members of the unit who will drill on the course before the specially named Queen's Own Yeomanry Stakes gets underway at 3pm. Two riders in the traditional mounted uniform of the 1950s will escort the runners down to the start.
Before the race there will also be a sing-along of the National Anthem, led by local mezzo soprano Lucy Stabler, a graduate of Birmingham Conservatoire and an up-and-coming star.
Sally Iggulden, Chief Executive of Beverley Racecourse said:
" We are delighted to mark the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen by welcoming the Queen’s Own Yeomanry to our raceday here at Beverley. The Queen is entwined in the fabric of British horseracing, and with the recent relocation of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry back to Hull, it seemed a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the occasion. Many a Royal owned racehorse has graced the Westwood, and the Queen herself visited in 2002 as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations."
The QOY's Recruiting Officer, Captain Timothy Miller, said:
“The Queens own Yeomanry are honoured to be invited to Beverley Racecourse to be a part of their Queen’s Birthday Celebrations. The Regiment has a strong Royal connection, not only in our title but with Prince Charles currently as our Royal Regimental Colonel. We are extremely proud of their history not only with the East Riding Yeomanry but with Beverley itself. Many of our soldiers in the past have originated from Beverley; with the re-opening of our Hull Detachment we hope to re-establish that bond with the local community."
Tickets for the meeting start at £5 a person and will also be available to buy on the day. Beverley Racecourse's 2016 season starts on the 13th April and runs throughout the summer, with some fabulous theme days. Early May sees the popular May Day Family Raceday, with lambs to bottle feed, face painting and a fun, friendly afternoon of racing, whilst June sees the glamorous new Laurent-Perrier Evening of the Horse with a daredevil equestrian stunt show, a polo challenge and a 6 race card.