Weather conditions have forced the cancellation of Flagg Races for a second successive year.
With heavy snowfall scuppering course preparation, and no end in site to the continuing icy blast, organisers High Peak Hunt have been forced to abandon the Easter Tuesday (April 2) race spectacle.
The conditions are in complete contrast to those that forced the cancellation of the 2012 event, when dry weather left the Flagg Moor course too hard for racing.
A statement on the event’s website reads: “The snow depth, temperatures and winds have ended all hopes of achieving the necessary groundworks. Of further concern is the ten-day weather forecast which is detailing sub-zero temperatures through to March 31.
“While it may seem early to be abandoning the event, the Management Committee also have to consider the considerable expense incurred in staging the event. The expenditure is already high and, for the second year running, significant loss has been incurred in preparation costs. By abandoning now the losses can be stopped and the very expensive course preparation and site establishment cost avoided.”
Flagg Races has been held at Flagg Moor, five miles south of Buxton, since 1892. The event, one of the longest-running horse racing events in the UK, has suffered a number of setbacks over the years, many of which have been down to bad weather.
In 2001, it was cancelled because of Foot and Mouth and in 2002 and 2003, problems with the course meant the event didn’t go ahead.
Thousands of people flock each year to enjoy the point-to-point race meeting, which includes the unique High Peak Hunt Members Race which takes place over dry stone walls.