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Saturday, 9 March, 2002, 13:04 GMT
Racecourse accepts payment in Euros
Racing graphic
A racecourse in south Wales is thought to be the first major sporting venue in the country to allow visitors to pay in Euros.

Chepstow Racecourse is accepting the foreign currency for its admission fee as part of its Irish Day celebrations on Saturday 9 March.

We want to be as helpful as we can to our racegoers, which is why we have decided to make the racecourse as Euro-friendly as possible

Steve Clare Chepstow Racecourse

Ireland changed its currency from Punts to Euros when the single currency was introduced in 12 EU nations at the beginning of 2002.

The racecourse's scheme will visitors from all Euroland countries to meet the 16 entrance fee without having to convert their new currency to sterling. They can pay 25 Euros instead.

In addition to paying the entrance fee in Euros, the Murphy's marquee will take Euros as payment and there will be an exchange facility that will allow visitors to change money from sterling to Euros and vice versa.

Steve Clare, general manager of Chepstow Racecourse, said: "We are anticipating a huge amount of Irish interest in our race meeting as it falls just a week before the Cheltenham Festival.

"We want to be as helpful as we can to our racegoers, which is why we have decided to make the racecourse as Euro-friendly as possible.

Chepstow Racecourse
Chepstow Racecourse is accepting Euros for a day

"It is a one-off initiative to support our Irish Raceday, we will repeat it."

To complete the Irish day festivities at Chepstow Racecourse, there will be music from an Irish band and Irish-themed food and drink will be available throughout the day.

A poll published by BBC Wales last month was the first to report a majority of opinion in favour of joining the European common currency.

Racing at Chepstow was suspended for six months last year as a precautionary measure during the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

The fixture was threatened at the beginning of the day due to the blustery weather.

But course officials held a track inspection at 1245GMT and ruled that it was safe for the meeting to go ahead.

See also:

05 Jul 01 | Wales
Racing returns to Chepstow
27 Feb 01 | Other Sports
Trainers plead for racing suspension
24 Feb 01 | Other Sports
Cheltenham future hangs in balance
23 Feb 01 | Other Sports
Foot-and-mouth claims race meeting
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