SCORES of families have been enjoying a day at York races today with entertainment laid on for all ages.

The annual Press Family Raceday has attracted novice and regular racegoers.

There were seven races throughout today, with the action starting just before 1pm.

Zak Kent, aged 12, led the way to victory with Little Galway Girl in the first of the 2019 Charles Owen Pony Racing Series which showcase the talents of the next generation of riders.

Ollie Proctor, 13, won the second race with Steal My Girl.

With under 18s admitted free of charge into all enclosures, there were plenty of activities to occupy them.

Highlights away from the track included the Racing Interactive Zone, offering aspiring riders the chance to experience a virtual racehorse, try on racing silks and question experts.

There was also a range of inflatables, including a giraffe slide and jungle run, alongside bouncy castles in the Big Top Entertainment Zone.

Zorb football was also available, and the opportunity to operate one of the machines from Diggerland.

PAW Patrol’s Chase, from the children’s TV programme, put in appearances throughout the day while people could also meet retired racehorses, brought to the event by Bishop Wilton-based charity New Beginnings which re-homes retired racehorses.

Members of the different emergency services were there, including North Yorkshire Police dog handlers, firearms personnel, and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service's community safety officers.

Three-year-old Harry Davis, from Tadcaster, was delighted to try his hand at the fire service's backpack sprayer, and splash his friends.

Louise Bullock, from Tadcaster, who was with her son Kai, six, said: "It is a great day. We have visited the fire and police and watched the pony races and had a lovely picnic."

For York friends Lydia Harrison and Charlotte Spink the day has become something of an annual fixture.

"We are cricket fans and our cricket club comes every year as a social," said Lydia. "There are about 30 of us here with Sheriff Hutton Bridge [cricket club] who have just won the league so it's a bit of a celebration."

Tom Deakin, also from York, was with friends Ben Atkinson, Rebecca Niblett and Amy Hardcastle, and said he was hoping to enjoy a bit of betting success for a change.

"We love the races, not because I win lots of money because I never do!"

Rebecca added: "It is a nice atmosphere; especially when the sun is out, it is a nice place to come."

Friends Gillian Ainsley, Janett Hill and Christine Horne were among a party from Garforth on their annual pilgrimage to York Races.

"We started coming for anniversaries and birthdays and it went from there," said Janett.

"We come every year, " added Christine. "We do bacon sandwiches in our garden, then champagne, then we come and go to the Champagne bar and make a real day of it."