Publicans and pub punters let their hair down at Shropshire brewer's race day season opener
Publicans and their regulars turned out in 'bumper' numbers to enjoy a Shropshire brewery's fifth annual race day.
More than 1,000 racegoers enjoyed an afternoon of racing at Ludlow Racecourse during this week's Ludlow Brewery Race Day which is the opening day of the season at the course.
Gary Walters, the managing director of Ludlow Brewing Company, said: "This was our fifth annual race day and it was a superb turnout and fantastic atmosphere, as always. The rain definitely didn't seem to dampen anyone's enjoyment.
"We had a bumper turn-out of our pub customers who brought their regulars with them.
"We are so grateful to them for their continued support in stocking our beers, and it was great to be able to have a chat with many of landladies and landlords and see them 'off duty' and enjoying themselves.
"We'd like to thank the racecourse management and all personnel, for all their hospitality and hard work."
The brewery says it is pleased to enjoy a positive partnership with Ludlow Racecourse, which includes having its beers on offer as a local choice throughout the season in The Tattersalls (Tatts) Bar.
Mr Walters said: "In doing so, they are supporting a local business, and making a sustainable choice supplying beer brewed within three miles!"
Heavy rain was forecast, but the showers held off until the seven-race card was well underway, with the first race at 2.10pm and the last at 5.35pm.
Landlords, landladies, and regular punters were able to shelter from the showers and enjoy beers and betting within the comfort of the spacious Windsor Marquee, which has its own betting facility and is situated opposite the grandstand.
The Tatts bar in the grandstand, which is operated by Ludlow Brewery, enjoyed a busy trade all afternoon.
Five cask ales and two craft keg beers were on the pumps, as well as cider, lager, wine, prosecco, spirits, soft drinks and alcohol-free beer.
There were two dedicated races, the first being the second race, Ludlow Brewing Company Fillies' Juvenile Maiden Hurdle (GBB Race).
Licensee Sally Cooke, from The Sun Inn Leintwardine, had the opportunity to choose best turned out horse before the race, and presented the trophy to owners HOE Racing, whose bay filly Grain Of Hope took victory in the race with 11 runners.
Licensee Jack Limond, from The White Horse Inn, Clun, stepped out into the parade ring to judge best turned out horse in The Ludlow Brewing Company Handicap Steeple Chase (Class 3), and presented the trophy after bay gelding Quick Draw romped home to an effortless looking victory under jockey Nico de Boinville.
Ludlow Brewery had put all attending licensees' names in a hat and drawn prizes, including a brewery tour, a tour of Ludlow Distillery, free beer, and the race presentations.
Mr Walters added: "The prize draw added a bit of extra excitement to the day; the main idea behind it was to reward our pub customers, as they are the backbone of our business. Some have been stocking our beers since we started brewing in 2006."