Salisbury racecourse has changed its policy on eating ice cream in its members’ enclosure after receiving a torrent of complaints this week.

In response to the growing criticism over the ice-cream ban in the members’ lawn area Salisbury racecourse has from today relaxed its clampdown on ice cream.

On Thursday (25 June) the Racing Post reported that racegoer Russell Gibbs was threatened with ejection after he and his 75-year-old mother ate ice creams in the enclosure.

“I was told that my mother had to come into Tattersalls to eat the ice cream,” Mr Gibbs told the paper. “But she’s 75 and by the time she got there it would have melted. I was told if I didn’t tone it down we would be ejected.”

Jeremy Martin response to that was: “We have a relaxed dress code for members but we can’t have people wandering around eating food. People pay extra for exclusivity in members — they don’t expect to bump into someone carrying an ice cream.”

But following complaints the first 99 racegoers to each of the racecourse’s three enclosures will now receive a free 99 ice cream at Sunday’s (28 June) meeting.

Jeremy Martin, clerk of the course and racecourse manager, said today: “Although this has not been raised as an issue before, the message has been very clear. We like to think we are a ‘listening racecourse’ and from what we have read in the paper and the emails we have received, we will be allowing ice creams in members’ from now onwards.

“We race on Sunday and the forecast is very favourable. I am sure plenty of ice creams will be consumed. We won’t be coning off any special areas, racegoers can eat the ice creams anywhere.”