Using films of actual horses, shown on a large screen, guests enjoy an evening of selecting and then cheering on their horse. By using real money, they can be an extremely successful fundraising event.

There are always eight horses in a race and guests choose from the race card the ones they fancy putting their money on. People go to the betting table / tote table to place their bets. If their horse wins, they get back more than they started with.

Most race nights have eight races and, combined with a few drinks and often a meal, they really are a very popular event. Many variations are possible, but do bear in mind an event for 250 people will take more organising than one for 50.

Race nights can alternatively be just be a night's entertainment for club members or staff. In this case, we provide fun money or chips and whoever has accumulated the most at the end wins a prize. If you're looking to organise this type of event, have a look at our entertainments section.

Hire the venue

If you have your own club, bar or hall then this is ideal. Bear in mind, however, that you are hoping to attract a good size audience and that they will need a reasonable amount of room to move around in order to place bets. There also has to be space for a large screen with a relatively clear space down the centre for a projector. If you are hiring a venue for your race night; this will need to reflect your potential audience size

It's a good idea to either arrange a bar for the evening if the venue doesn't have one or, if that's not possible, remind people to bring their own drinks. Many race nights have a break for food during the evening. Fish and chips is a popular choice; a buffet also works well.

The venue needs to be available at least an hour before your guests arrive to allow time to set up.

If you're struggling to find a venue, give us a call - we've run thousands of events all over the country, so we might be able to help out or make some suggestions.

Book the race night

We provide films, projection and sound equipment, large screen and compere. We can also supply staff to take bets, although this can easily be done by your own volunteers.

It is important to book well in advance. Saturdays during peak months (Feb/Mar, Oct/Nov) are booked up very early.

Make sure you check our availability before you book the venue.

Find an audience

In theory, the larger the audience, the more money you should make on the evening, but this is not always the case. If the room is too crowded, or you end up with long queues for the betting, you may not make as much. Most race nights have between 50 and 100 guests. If you hope to attract more than 100 guests, you will usually need to book larger or multiple screens. An event with 200+ guests requires considerable planning. Let us know if you're planning a large event, we have lots of experience with major events, but the earlier we know about it the more we can help.

Ask the experts

If you are organising your first race night, or perhaps even your first fundraising event, you probably have lots of questions.

We're always on the end of the phone to answer your queries, so get in touch as often as you like.

It's 30 minutes before your race night is due to start, and you haven't got a racecard/programme yet, or maybe you're just stuck for inspiration. We've produced two simple Word and Publisher templates for you to use. 

Racecards

Single page racecard (colour) Word    
Single pace racecard (black) Publisher    

 

No calculators - no tear off tickets

Every compered event we run includes our unique and easy to use touch screen tote.

Our computerised tote system has long replaced tear off tickets and calculating by hand. For most events, one system is sufficient. It's quick and easy to use, and we'll show you how it's done, so one terminal is great for events with up to about 80 people. For our larger events, we can link systems together to provide multiple tote stations, for £40 per tote (if your volunteers are manning the tote - though we can provide our own staff if preferred). The only limit is your audience.

 

How it works

First off, if your own volunteers are using our tote, we'll provide some quick training - it's designed to be really easy to use.

Guests place stakes from £1 and upwards, on as many horses as they like for each race. Each transaction is recorded on an instantly printed 'betting slip', just like the tote at the race course. When your lucky punters collect their winnings, they simply bring their slip back to the tote, where it is scanned by your volunteers, and the payout is calculated and displayed instantly on-screen. We've tried to make it as easy as possible, with no calculators, and no errors.

At the end of the night we'll provide a convenient print out of the takings and payouts, so you can see your fundraising efforts right away.