A MASS brawl involving as many as 50 racegoers has attracted widespread criticism.
The incident occurred at Haydock Park Racecourse in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, last Saturday, February 16th.
Footage from the incident has been doing the rounds on social media and appears to show two rival factions embroiled in series of running battles.
Reports suggest a young mother and her infant child were forced to flee the scene of the violent clashes amid fears over their safety.
Stewards eventually brought the situation under control but, in the aftermath of the incident, those involved have been widely condemned.
One eyewitness is quoted as calling the group as “f***ing cowards” while the unfolding scenes as both “horrifying” and “traumatic”.
The Racecourse Association has also “strongly condemned” the actions of those responsible for the brawl.
“The RCA strongly condemns the appalling behaviour of a small group of racegoers whose actions have taken the shine off a fantastic Saturday of racing,” the RCA said in a statement on Sunday.
“Racecourse stewards and security teams are trained to detect and close down crowd disturbances in the rare incidents when they arise, as was the case Haydock Park.
“Police are present at race meetings across the country where they deem it necessary in consultation with each racecourse.
“The RCA enjoys a close relationship with the police via the Horserace Police Practitioners Forum which enables us to share intelligence relating to events with our members.
“As the first major sporting partner of Drinkaware, the RCA and its members are committed to promoting responsible drinking and a national campaign has been activated since 2015.”
For those who are mum shaming me saying I shouldn't have taken my son to haydock today and that I brought it on myself. This is one of the reasons he can run about play around see the horses.this was filmed today. Going to the races was a family day out. pic.twitter.com/6XBtySlxZx
— Rosanna Pownall (@RosannaPownall) February 17, 2019
A Haydock Park spokesperson added: “We are extremely disappointed by the incident, which is completely out of character with a jumps fixture in February.
“Our security teams were on hand to bring this under control and eject those involved, and we had ample security to do so.
“We involved the police who we are continuing to work with on this matter and those involved will be banned from Haydock Park and all other venues in our group.
“We take a zero-tolerance approach because there can be no place for this type of behaviour in British horse racing.”
Merseyside Police have since confirmed that one man was arrested following the clashes on suspicion of affray and possession of a controlled drug.
At the time of writing, nobody has been charged.