Fixtures secure future of Ffos Las racecourse
- 17 November 2011
- From the section South West Wales
The owner of Carmarthenshire's Ffos Las racecourse says its future is safe after securing 26 fixtures next year.
Businessman Dai Walters had feared the number of races could be cut to 16 and warned if that happened the course, opened in 2009, would not be viable.
It has secured 26 meetings in 2012, three fewer than this year.
Mr Walters said he was delighted with the allocation while Carmarthenshire council leader Meryl Gravell said it was fantastic news for the county.
When it opened in 2009 Ffos Las was the first new turf horseracing course to open in Britain for around 80 years.
It has been built on a former opencast mine near Trimsaran.
Fixtures are allocated by the British Horseracing Authority.
Tim Long, general manager and clerk of the course, said: "It just wouldn't have been viable for us to operate on just 16 guaranteed fixtures.
"We're quite delighted with the spread of fixtures.
"There's only one month, October, where there is just a single meeting, and we have seven during July and August.
"Getting the number of Sundays raised to half a dozen is excellent news because that's when families can come out and enjoy an affordable day at the races."
When it appeared the course was under threat Mrs Gravell had spoken of its economic importance to the county.
She said as well as the jobs at the racecourse it also boosted local cafes, hotels, restaurants and pubs.
She said: "This is fantastic news.
"Ffos Las has been such a wonderful asset in its short life not only for the county and Wales but for the UK racing fraternity.
"This decision will help cement Ffos Las well and truly in the great British horse racing traditions putting Carmarthenshire well and truly on the world horseracing racing stage."