BMW Drivers and Drunk Racegoers

Time for another rant this week, one racing related the other not.

So let’s get the non-racing one sorted out first of all.

One of the disadvantages of going racing as often as I do is the number of miles that have to be covered, invariably by road. It is also the most tiring aspect of racing as you need your wits about you with some of the idiots you find on the road.

Now I am probably going to risk alienating a number of readers here by saying the worse car drivers on the road seem to be those who drive BMW’s.

I’m not saying all BMW drivers are equally culpable but if there is some idiot hogging lane three of the motorway it is a fair chance it will be a BMW driver.

If there is a car tailgating you have a look when it goes past and it’s a fair chance there will be a BMW manqué on the vehicle.

Queuing somewhere, to leave the racing or when lanes merge on a motorway you can bet your bottom dollar the car trying to push in will be a Beamer.

I have come to the conclusion that BMW stands for Brainless Moronic W*nker, as that seems to sum up the attitude of a large number of BMW drivers. It is almost as it they have a superior arrogance that makes them think they don’t have to follow the same rules as everyone else.

You think I’m making it up – just take a look next time you are off on a long drive.

If the marketing guys at BMW were switched on they could have the strapline “a frontal lobotomy free with every car.”

Speaking of frontal lobotomy’s that brings me onto my next moan – drunks at the races and I’m not talking about jockeys who fail an on-course breath tests.

No I’m referring to those simple minded idiots who seem to be unable to do anything without a drink in their hand and in so doing inflict their boorish behaviour on others.

The extreme instance is an outbreak of fighting of which there have been recent cases at Sandown, Newmarket and Newbury. Thankfully not that too frequent an event but once is too often.

At the next level there are loud boorish groups who pour beer down their throats and become rowdy. Some may think chanting of football songs is cool – maybe it is at a football stadium - it is not appropriate behaviour at a racecourse. On one level it is not pleasant for the majority of racegoers who are there to enjoy the racing.

There is also the safety concern that a jeering crowd could spook a horse leading to a nasty accident. OK it hasn’t happened yet but I’m sure that is down more to good fortune than anything else.

The raceourses do not help matters. Granted they are not charities and they need to make money and believe me having once been a licensee of a social club I know exactly how much profit can be made from booze sales. However the courses actively encourage drinking.

At one of the meetings where there was recent violence there were innumerable young lads walking round actively selling beer to racegoers. I lost count of the number of times I was approached and asked if I wanted to buy some beer. The look of incredulity when I said I didn’t want a drink had to be seen to be believed.

The trouble is some racecourses actively encourage their customers to drink as much as possible – they then shrug their shoulders and tut tut when there are problems as a result.

Indeed there are some courses who actively encourage heavy drinking – there is more than one course who encourages customers to by their drinks in two pint containers – one even pushes beer in four pint jugs.

It is actually illegal for a licensee to sell alcohol to a customer who is drunk – yet at most courses this rule is not enforced. This isn’t helped by the fact that most of those selling the alcohol are barely 18 themselves and do not have the confidence to refuse to serve those who are intoxicated.

There are those who will argue that drinking at the racecourse is not a big problem, it just reflects what happens on most high streets on any Saturday night. Does that make it right?

I avoid high streets on Saturday nights because of drunken morons, why should I avoid going racing to avoid them?

I have no problem if people want to have a drink as long as they don’t make a nuisance of themselves.

The RCA / BHA  should implement (or should I say enforce) the following rules straight away.

  • Anyone who is intoxicated at a racecourse should be ejected immediately.
  • Anyone who is drunk and disorderly at a course should be banned from all racecourses for twelve months. For repeat offences a lifetime ban should be applied. The banning orders can be enforceable in the same manner as football banning orders.
  • Anyone who is violent at a racecourse should be banned from all sporting venues for life. Again this can be a legally enforceable ban.
  • Any racecourse who fails to enforce the rules of its licence should have its licence removed.

I want the racecourse to be somewhere I can have an enjoyable afternoon, where I could take a maiden Aunt without her having to come face to face with drunk louts. I don’t care what happens on the high street, I don’t want it happening on my racecourses.     



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