Action at the Haydock racecourse had to be brought to a momentary halt on Saturday when a group of spectators engaged in a minor brawl in the area right next to the track. Initial reports estimated about anywhere from 40 to 60 people were involved in the tussle, but the Guardian reports that CCTV footage indicates it couldn’t have been more than 15 or so.
The most concerning moment came when the first of many flare ups began. As the brawl moved its way across the green, it began to inch closer and closer to a a mother and her infant son. The woman and her child were taken away to safety by authorities. You can see the woman right in front of the bench at the start of the video.
In other clips posted to Twitter, its easy to see where the initial high estimates originally came from:
An official from the racecourse put out the following statement:
“We are extremely disappointed by the incident, which is completely out of character with a jumps fixture in February,” a spokesman for Haydock said. “Our security teams were on hand to bring this under control and eject those involved, and we had ample security to do so. We involved the police who we are continuing to work with on this matter and those involved will be banned from Haydock Park and all other venues in our group.”
While it’s been reported that one 26-year-old has been arrested for starting the fight and being in possession of some drug, the police told reporters that there have been no reported injuries from the fight and that no one has gone to the cops looking to press charges.
It’s not clear why the fight started, but the Guardian report explains that some people believe that football fans were behind this since there were no Premier League games happening on Saturday and there was an influx of people who showed up to the course “with no particular enthusiasm for horse racing.” I kind of like the idea that someone very strongly believes that people who support Everton (just an example) are frothing at the mouth looking to smash things and cause chaos whenever their beloved club isn’t playing that day. I also like the idea of that same person thinking that type of behavior is beneath the fandom of horse racing.