0 The Cartmel groundsman who has kept races going for the past 17 years

Cartmel's groundsman is looking forward to the Bank Holiday more than any other fixture in his 17 years at the racecourse.

Gary Sharp preparing the course ahead of the last race meetings of the year on Saturday 28th and Bank Holiday Monday 30th August 2021 (Image: Sheenah Alcock Photography & Film)

After months of preparation, head groundsman Gary Sharp says everything's set for August Bank Holiday weekend at Cartmel Races - describing it as "a nice carpet of grass for the horse".

The event, which is one of the biggest in the Cumbrian calendar, will be extra special this year as it is the first to be run since the end of Covid restrictions.

Up to 14,000 people are expected to attend on Saturday (August 28) for the Cartmel Cup and Monday 30 for the Season Finale, plus food concessions, trade stands and funfair.

This will be Gary's 17th year overseeing the racecourse's bank holiday extravaganza which is famous for its festival feel with many families returning year after year.

"It's looking like we are ready to race!" said Gary.

"This will be the biggest event we have had for two years because of lockdowns. It is the first time there will be no cap on the crowds."

"It is going to be nice to see people enjoying themselves again."

Gary, who lives in Cark and went to school in Cartmel, is the longest-serving member of the racecourse staff.

He started 19 years ago, aged 24, as a groundsman and became head groundsman in 2005.

Gary continued: "The track is sensitive and, from May onwards, we have August on our minds.

"We work hard to make sure we have nice fresh racing lines for the horses, like a nice carpet of grass for the horses to run on."

Gary is helped by a team of up to 16 ground staff who all come from the local area.

He continued: "This is one of the biggest events in Cumbria and it is our last race of the year. I always have a case of beer in the fridge for the lads at the end.

"After the past 18 months, I am really looking forward to seeing people happy and having fun."

You can read the original article from LancsLive HERE

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