Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TGNEWS to 80360 or you can email us Click here for details »
Great Leighs Racecourse opens to the public
Great Leighs Racecourse opened to the public for the first time - for once even the weather could not stop it.
The first public meeting of Britain's brand new racecourse since 1927 went ahead yesterday amid blustery showers and grey skies after only passing a British Horse Racing Authority inspection of a service road for official vehicles in the morning.
The outlook may have been grey at the course which has suffered many weather-related delays, but flashes of bright clothing and pre-racing excitement made up for it.
Over 3, 500 racegoers showed in attire varying from winter coats and wellies to cocktail dresses and high-heels, all trying to avoid muddy puddles.
And renowned jockey Lester Piggott, racing commentator John McCririck, Animal Aid protestors and the media turned up for the major regional event.
Overlooking the bad weather people were pleased Great Leighs had finally arrived, but the unfinished nature of the course disappointed some.
Mr McCririck said: "It's got potential. The whole course is potential. The most important thing is they have got the track right. The most important creatures here are the racehorses and they are being looked after."