Thousands of racegoers from across the North East came together on Sunday (17 July) to show their support for the armed forces at Redcar Racecourse.
The annual Help for Heroes Family Fun Day race meeting saw nearly 4,000 people turn out to show their appreciation for charities Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion.
Alongside the eight races, the Royal British Legion standard bearers held a parade along the final furlong of the racecourse, which culminated in a two-minute silence to remember all those who have served in the forces.
The parade was led by Eric Howden, BEM, who was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List last month.
Eric, who is a member of the Royal Army Ordinance Corps having served in Germany and Singapore, said: “The service personnel always receive a wonderful, warm reception, which we really appreciate.
“People came from all around the North East to attend this special raceday and it was a lovely feeling to see so many turn out to show their respect for the veterans.”
Accompanied by the Cleveland Army Cadet Force marching band, the parade also included veterans and members of the Armed Forces Bikers, 2394 Squadron Air Training Corps, Cleveland Army Cadets, and Sea Cadets from the Training Ship Zetland.
A number of serving and former armed service personnel attended the event and were granted free entry into the racecourse on the day, in recognition of their service.
Amy Fair, general manager of Redcar Racecourse said: “Our Help for Heroes Family Fun Day is always a huge success and the fantastic weather added to the wonderful atmosphere.
“It was lovely to see so many people from across the North East come together to not only have a great family day out, but also show their respect and meet some of our country’s heroes.”
The race day was also the second day of the Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival, a week of racing in Yorkshire encompassing all eight of the Yorkshire flat courses which will culminate at Pontefract on Sunday 24th July.
Redcar Racecourse’s next Premier meeting will be Caribbean Carnival Day on Saturday 6th August.
For more information about the Teesside racecourse, visit http://www.redcarracing.co.uk/, and to find out more about Help for Heroes, visit http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/, and for information about the Royal British Legion visit http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/
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