Hailed by Time Out as ‘fantastically silly’ and a ‘must-see event’, the annual London Pantomime Horse Race is one of the capital’s most unmissable and unique Christmas charity events.
Costumed Pantomime horses – not to mention the odd cow and zebra – take part in the fun-packed comedy race through the streets of Greenwich, all in the name of raising money for charity.
Far more entertaining than the Grand National… The Evening Standard reckon it’s ‘The daftest contest in the racing calendar…one helluva crowd pleaser.’
The Pre-Race Ceremony
Devonport House – King William Walk – Greenwich
The day begins with the traditional ‘Pre-Race Ceremony’ show, that takes place in the grounds of ‘Devonport House, Central Greenwich. The show regularly features Special surprise celebrity guests appearances, plus live music performances from some of the leading chart acts in the UK, plus a very daft Panto Horse Dance-Off contest is staged during the show ,which is aptly named ‘Strictly Neigh Dancing’ . Before the race gets underway, crowds are also treated to the racing nags entering the grounds , accompanied by Marching bands as they lead them to their ‘Paddock’ in preperation for the 1pm Race around the Streets of Greenwich.
The London Pantomime Horse Race
Starting Line : Devonport House
Route : King William Walk, Nevada Street, Burney Street, Royal Hill
Finish Line . The Prince of Greenwich – Royal Hill
The streets of Greenwich are transformed into a course for comical, cantering ponies as they race from King William Walk / Devonport House (Central Greenwich ) ,stopping off at various pubs (pit-stops), before staggering to the finishing line an hour later in Royal Hill ( West ) Greenwich.
During the last leg of the Race, those poor nags then have to battle it out via a host of Steeple Chases and other ‘surprise’ obstacles’ that they have to overcome to keep their place in the race.
The best 5 performing nags are then chosen to take on the very final part of the race , that will take them towards the Finish Line.. This challenge involves the costumed Nags, riding…on Space Hoppers, & a few more steeplechases. The Winning ‘Horse’ & their runners up are all awarded prizes for their sterling efforts . All participating nags are then invited to let their Mane down and have a jolly good rest with the final fun event of the day.
The After-Race Xmas Party
2:30pm – late
Ticket only event: Full Details / line-up to be released in October
The very lively bash, which the public can also attend, is the final charity fundraiser of the day , and features live music from celebrity acts plus established ‘Tribute Bands’ also perform at the event, to get everyone in the seasonal spirit.
This year, we have something VERY special lined up so ensure you are at the venue in good time . You don’t want to miss this!!
UK & International TV / media regularly featured the race , delighting in the deliciously absurd sight of galloping pantomime horses accompanied by crowds of fans in bizarre fancy dress.
Celebrity supporters :
Celebrities who have kindly given up their time to appear, perform or have lent their support to the madcap event have included :
Squeeze ( Glenn Tillbrook /Chris Difford)
Brian Blessed OBE – Actor /TV Personally
Matt Lucas – Comedian / Actor
Jools Holland – Musician
Christopher Holland – Musician
Arthur Smith – Comedian
The Cheeky Girls – Pop Group
Stephen Frost – Comedian / Actor
John McCririck – Racing Pundit / TV Personality
Jimmi Harkishin – (‘Dev’ Alahan – Coronation Street )
Jamie Borthwick – (Jay Brown –Eastenders )
Khali Best (Dexter Hartman – Eastenders )
Harry Hill – Comedian
Tommy Steele – Singer / Entertainer
Bill Bailey – Comedian
Katie Price – TV Personality
Rachel Wiley – TV Personality
Frank Bruno OBE
Paul Cook – The Sex Pistols
Nazaneen Ghaffar – Sky News
Every year, the organiser aims to make the event even more surreal and magical than the previous year so it’s a must-see for the entertainment value alone. The 2017 ‘ROCK/POP ICONS’ themed event promises to deliver some major surprises & utterly daft elements that are currently being worked on. Not to be missed !!
So far, the pantomime races have raised many thousands for various charities.
The race was established by organiser, Producer & saturist Mark Biddiss
Website kindly created by Datadial