Watch: 'Horror scene' as mass brawl erupts at Haydock Park racecourse
One man was arrested for affray and drug possession
Racing authorities have vowed to take a zero tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour after another mass brawl broke out at a race meeting.
Two gangs of men traded blows at Haydock Park on Merseyside on Saturday as horrified spectators looked on.
At one point a woman clutching a small child had to be led to safety after appearing to get caught up in the fighting as dozens of men traded blows before stewards eventually brought the situation under control.
Merseyside Police said one man had been arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of a controlled drug following the fight.
We can confirm a man has been arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of a controlled drug following reports of a disturbance in #Haydock this afternoon. Anyone with info is asked to contact @MerPolCC, 101 quoting ref. 728 of or @CrimestoppersUK. https://t.co/6fb5E5yJFY pic.twitter.com/oONH9CsMuo— Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) February 16, 2019
A Haydock Park spokesman said: “We take a zero tolerance position on antisocial behaviour.
“The perpetrators were ejected at the time and we are continuing to work with the police on this matter.”
The issue of violence on racecourses captured the headlines last spring when fights took place at Goodwood and Ascot on successive weekends, with tracks subsequently implementing more stringent security measures.
The brawl at Haydock erupted just as the last of eight races got under way.
Oliver Hodgson said he believed there was “at least” 60 to 100 involved in the melee, which happened around the time of the last race.
“It was something out of a horror scene, it was traumatic,” the 15-year-old racegoer from Gosforth, Copeland told the Press Association.
“The security tried to intervene but you couldn’t do anything at this point they had to sort of let them sort it out.
“There were families and kids there, they were bumping into prams and as you can see onthe video there’s a mum and child being rushed off by security.
“Early on in the footage she gets pushed over.
“Everyone was so shocked because it was such a nice day and the weather was good and then it just turned.”
Oliver said he did not know how the fighting started.
“I just think it was a drunken mess to be honest, but I have to clarify this was a minority and this is not how everyone behaves at racing,” he said.
“Racing is not the type of event where this happens, racing events are amazing.
“There will be people there who think I’m never going to a race event ever again and that’s why things like this are so wrong.”
Oliver said police arrived shortly after and said he did not see anyone with serious injuries.