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UK's Layton Beach Racing An Institution

Wednesday, 11th September 2019

The annual Laytown races will go ahead today in the UK; the popular event is the only horse racing fixture on a beach under official Rules of Racing in Ireland or Britain. The race was made famous on the internet a few years ago when one of the runners reared spectacularly going down to the start and the jockey stuck on (see below).The track at Laytown is straight and races are from 1200m to 1600m, although racingtv.com reveals that they used to have races up to 3200m with a tight bend at the end until an incident in 1994 brought in safety changes that removed the bend. The sand is usually considered firm, and Laytown has gathered crowds of over 5,000 in each of the past few years. Typically, some 60 runners make up the five races, although a record of 73 runners occurred in 1914 after WWI broke out and racing across Britain was suspended temporarily. The Laytown races on Wednesday will be the 151st running of the special meeting, and the officials have only 3 hours to set up the running rail once the tide has gone out.

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