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Jul 06 2016

Racecourse officially reopens for Jump Racing on Thursday 6 October.
Restaurant to be named in honour of Herefordshire born Champion Jump Jockey Richard Johnson and his first win on Rusty Bridge.
Local sponsors come out in force to support of the racecourse.
Charity event in aid of St Michael’s Hospice set for Thursday 29 September.

Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) is delighted to announce several exciting developments at Hereford Racecourse ahead of Jump racing returning after four years on Thursday 6 October.

In honour of the sport’s reigning Champion Jump Jockey and Herefordshire’s rich racing heritage, the former Silks Restaurant is being renamed ‘The Rusty Bridge Restaurant’. Richard Johnson rode his first ever winner on Rusty Bridge, trained by his mother Sue and owned and bred by his Grandfather Ivor, at Hereford in April 1994. Rusty Bridge ran a total of 75 times under rules and in 12 point-to-points. The restaurant will undergo a full redecoration which will include a timeline of Richard Johnson’s career, and photographic and editorial tributes to Richard’s achievements in the saddle over the past years in the saddle.

Local companies have been very strong in their support of the racecourse’s reopening. The Grandstand will be named after Hereford-based Law firm Kidwells Solicitors and Cotswold Hereford MINI and BMW will provide all vehicles to the racecourse.

Chase Distilleries, based five miles from the racecourse, will provide premium sprits throughout the racecourse bars. On October 6, their trademark Land Rover Defenders will be on course to allow racegoers to experience their range of speciality vodka and gin drinks.

Prior to the official reopening, on Thursday 29 September, Hereford Racecourse will play host to a major fundraising event for St Michael’s Hospice, a local charity that provides specialist palliative and respite care to the people of Herefordshire and their families.

‘A Celebration of the Return of National Hunt Racing to Hereford Racecourse’ evening is being organised by BBC Radio 5 Live’s Racing Correspondent, Cornelius Lysaght. The event will invite guests to bring their own picnics to the racecourse and enjoy a champagne reception and an evening of insights and stories from some of the county’s top racing figures, including Richard Johnson and Peter Scudamore, hosted by John Hunt, broadcaster and commentator for the BBC and At The Races. For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact St Michael’s Hospice on 01432 851000 or visit

Executive Director of Hereford Racecourse, Rebecca Davies, who took up position in June, said, “The response and support that we have had locally to the news that the racecourse is to reopen is superb. I would like to thank Kidwells Solicitors, Cotswold Hereford MINI and BMW and Chase Distillery for joining with us in what will be a very positive step for racing in Herefordshire and jump racing as a whole. Equally, we are delighted to welcome St Michael’s Hospice for the picnic fundraising event on 29 September for what should be an excellent evening for a fantastic local charity.

“We are also honoured to open ‘The Rusty Bridge Restaurant’. We wanted to do something to recognise the enormous contribution that Champion Jockey Richard Johnson has made throughout his career to Jump racing, especially given that Richard is Herefordshire born and bred and so well respected in the area.”

Champion Jump Jockey, Richard Johnson, said, “Rusty Bridge is a very special horse to me and my family, and I am very touched that Hereford Racecourse have chosen to celebrate him in this way. I rode my first winner there and always loved racing at Hereford. It is fantastic that the racecourse is reopening and I look forward to riding as many winners there as I can, starting on 6 October!”

Tickets for general admission and hospitality packages in The Rusty Bridge Restaurant, are both available online at for each of the four fixtures in 2016, Thursday 6 October, Monday 31 October, Tuesday 23 November and Monday 19 December.