The British Jockey Club has taken a significant and substantial step forward by removing formal dress codes to make horseracing events more accessible and inclusive.
The decision will affect its 15 racecourses, including Aintree, Epsom Downs and Cheltenham, all of which play host to the highlights of Britain’s sporting and social calendar.
The Jockey Club said morning dress or formal daywear will still be required on Derby Day at Epsom for those in the Queen Elizabeth II Stand.
‘Ladies’ Day’ in Epsom is also famous for its beautiful and often bizarre fashion and headdresses.
Offensive clothing and replica sports shirts will not be permitted, but race-goers were otherwise encouraged to “dress how you feel most comfortable and confident.”
“Horse racing has always been a popular sport for people from all backgrounds and it’s really important to us to be accessible and inclusive,” said Jockey Club chief executive Nevin Truesdale.
“We hope that by not placing more expectations on people about what they should and shouldn’t wear, we can help emphasize that racing truly is for everyone.
“It was clear to us that enforcing a dress code seems quite outdated in the 21st century in the eyes of many of our viewers.”
Truesdale said race-goers were asked to dress up, but it was a common misconception that it was a requirement.
“Indeed, even on very high-profile days like the Cheltenham Festival, that was simply not the case and our only recommendation was to dress appropriately for the weather,” he said.
“Now we hope to remove any ambiguity or uncertainty and simply let people know that whatever they feel comfortable wearing they will be welcome to join us on a race day.”