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The Jockey Club

At The Jockey Club we’ve called time on dress codes as part of our commitment to make horseracing as accessible and inclusive as possible.


Instead of restricting you from watching the action in certain enclosures based on what you’re wearing, we encourage you to dress as you feel most comfortable and confident.


Of course that doesn’t mean we’re discouraging you from wearing your favourite suit or dress or reaching for the most glamorous item of clothing in your wardrobe for a day at the races if you wish.


We’re just keen to ensure that your enjoyment isn’t impacted by whether you can only stand or sit in a certain place based on your clothing. All we do suggest is that you bear in mind the good old British weather when picking your outfit!


The only exceptions to our new policy are offensive fancy dress or offensive clothing of any kind and replica sports shirts, but to avoid any confusion we hope the Q&A below helps explain what changes we’ve made and why…


No. We know that dress codes have been a part of horseracing for decades but the world is constantly changing and so are we. As a result formal dress codes are no longer enforced at any Jockey Club racecourses. Instead we’re encouraging people to come dressed however they feel most comfortable and confident, regardless of where they want to watch the racing from.

While The Jockey Club is an organisation steeped in history and formed in 1750 we’re also a modern, forward-thinking business and the largest commercial organisation and employer in British racing. We recognise that, while many people choose to dress up for a day at the races, not everyone feels comfortable and confident doing so.


We want our sport to be accessible and inclusive and we hope that by no longer placing an expectation upon people of what they should and shouldn’t wear we can help highlight that racing really is for everyone.

We’re very clear we want people to wear whatever they feel comfortable in and recognise that fancy dress can bring colour and entertainment to a raceday. However, we do expect racegoers to exercise common sense when it comes to what is acceptable in a public place and anyone in offensive fancy dress or offensive clothing of any kind would be refused entry.


A right to refusal will also remain in place for replica sports shirts. We’re passionate about other sports, but showing allegiance to a club can sometimes cause friction, so to keep things simple we ask racegoers to refrain from wearing team kits.


Meanwhile, the Queen Elizabeth II Stand on Derby Day at Epsom Downs is the only enclosure and fixture at which a dress code will be in place. The Derby is an iconic day in the sporting calendar and has traditionally been an occasion for everyone to enjoy the very best of British racing, regardless of what they want to wear. We believe that it is in keeping with the event to reserve an area for those who wish to wear Morning Dress on Derby Day, in the same way there are areas all over the racecourse and on The Hill in the middle of track where people have been encouraged to wear whatever they feel comfortable in, however informal, since the race was first run in 1780.

No. We’re not proactively encouraging racegoers to dress in a certain way. We believe that people will wear whatever they think is appropriate, just as they would for any other venue or occasion, and the choice is ultimately theirs to make.


However, we do know from feedback that for many people coming racing for the first time or attending a new racecourse or a day they’ve not been to before, choosing what to wear can sometimes be a little daunting. As such our website will provide tips on what racegoers might consider appropriate, based on factors like the fixture, format of the day and, of course, the seasonal weather.



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