Bonfire Night weekend racing cancelled with speedway club set to celebrate remarkable return

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Greyhound racing at Oxford Stadium across the Bonfire Night weekend has been cancelled in line with Greyhound Board of Great Britain’s updated Firework Policy.

It means fixtures on Friday, November 4, and Saturday, November 5, will not take place while the Cowley venue is categorised as a high-risk area by the GBGB, the sport’s governing body.

The decision has been made to minimise the exposure of greyhounds to firework displays within the city’s ring road and the stadium’s immediate vicinity.

Advice has also been issued to trainers and owners on how greyhounds can be supported at their homes during high-risk periods for fireworks.

Kevin Boothby, Oxford Stadium Managing Director, said: “Oxford is a centrally located venue with strong ties to its local community and people.

“Being at the heart of the Blackbird Leys and Cowley communities does, however, mean we sit in a high-risk area where greyhounds would be exposed to unnecessary stress and anxiety by fireworks displays taking place locally.

“We therefore have decided to cancel racing on November 4 and November 5 and will return to our usual schedule the following week.

“We politely ask our local residents to be mindful of the welfare of greyhounds beyond Bonfire Night weekend by requesting anyone holding a private display to do so outside of our racing schedule.”

In the absence of greyhound racing, Oxford Speedway will host its first end-of-season party at the Sandy Lane venue on Saturday, November 5, with fans invited to celebrate the club’s return to the sport.

Riders and members of management will be in attendance with visitors encouraged to send their favourite photos of the club’s regeneration campaign to feature on a special ‘Wall of Memories’.

Kevin added: “The demand for speedway’s return to Oxford Stadium was extraordinary. Initially, we planned on running our first season in 2023 but fans’ response made it obvious we needed to race as soon as possible.

“They’ve turned out in force week in, week out, and really got behind the Cheetahs and Chargers. I’m really looking forward to marking the end of the club’s first season and celebrating our success story on and off the track with those who have helped to make it possible.”

Tickets for Oxford Speedway’s end-of-season party are available online now via the club’s website. Doors open at 7pm and supporters wishing for their photo to feature on the club’s Wall of Memories should email laurie.baker@oxford-stadium.co.uk.

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