Derbyshire's popular Longnor Races event set to return this year

Organisers of Longnor Races have confirmed the event will be back this year – with a huge demand from members of the public keen to see it return.

The last race day in Longnor was in 2019 before the pandemic but organisers say they are definitely returning this September.

Race secretary Stephen Mellor said: “We are confident about coming back but also we have had so many people contacting us asking when the races will be returning we are also confident people will turn up again and make the event a success.”

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Longnor Races is returning in September for the first time since before the pandemic.

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    Longnor Races is a time-honoured tradition and this three year break is the event’s third longest since it started more than 100 years ago.

    “We stopped during the Second World War,” said Stephen, “and there have been a few years of terrible weather but this has been a really long break for us so we are excited to get back to it.

    "You have your regular faces who come every year and those who book the day off work to come along. it really is a very important date for the farming community in and around Longnor as it brings everyone together.”The event was set up after the farmers had to get their milk on the train from their farms as fast as they could and they raced to the station.

    Then a mile-long race was set up around the village to see which horse was the fastest. That became too dangerous so the racing moved to the field.

    Stephen said: "The field was owned by the Shirley family and in the farmer’s will it said that as long as a Shirley remains in Longnor then there will be the annual Longnor Races on the field.

    "I think the village’s ancestors would be pleased as punch to see it returning.”

    Race day is Thursday September, 8 and the event will start with the pony gymkhana followed by the harness racing, fell running and motorcycle racing and there is £4,000 worth of prize money up for grabs.

    Stephen who has been on the committee for 36 years, and his father was also on the committee, said: “We have had some great support already.

    "Liz Andrews from the riding school has promised horses for the gymkhana and the harness racing has a new organiser who has been a winner, an owner and a trainer so he really knows his stuff.

    “It’s going to be a great day out on the field and we can’t wait to see everyone again.”