The atmosphere’s electric as Fontwell powers through big night

Action on the track at Fontwell's Ladies' Evening  Picture by Clive Bennett
Action on the track at Fontwell's Ladies' Evening Picture by Clive Bennett

IT was supposed to be all about girl power on Ladies’ Evening at Fontwell Park - instead a lack of power was the talk of the track.

A power cut struck the racecourse - and the whole area - after just one race, putting the whole event under threat.

Happily, the venue’s emergency plan, which involved back-up generators being brought into use to keep essential supplies going, meant the rest of the evening could go ahead.

It wasn’t without problems - toilets were closed for a while and many bookies couldn’t operate until some form of power was restored - but Fontwell bosses were just relieved the racing could go ahead, as could the live music set by Robbing Williams.

General manager Tracy Skinner said: “Apparently it’s never happened before - a major power cut during racing at Fontwell, or at any other ARC-owned tracks.

“We have an emergency plan that came into action and the first thing was to ensure the integrity of the racing could be protected and therefore the racing could carry on. That meant getting power to the scales in the weighing room and for the stewards to be able to see a photo finish if one was required.

“It was a major headache but I’d like to thank the whole team at Fontwell for rallying round and making the best, and allowing people to carry on enjoying their evening.”

See more pictures from Ladies’ Evening - plus a preview of Goodwood’s August Bank Holiday Festival - in the Observer, out now