A BRAWL broke out at Haydock Park racecourse this afternoon during the Grand National Trial meeting.

Violence flared among the crowd on the lawn area in front of the main grandstand just before the last race of the day.

The incident marred the event, which saw seven races take place today at Haydock.  

An investigation is ongoing with racecourse officials working with the police over the incident. 

Police arrested a 26-year-old man in connection with the incident.

A statement from Merseyside Police said: "We can confirm a man has been arrested following reports of a disturbance in Haydock this afternoon, Saturday, February 16. 

"At around 4.50pm, officers were called to Haydock Racecourse following reports of a disturbance involving a group of men.

"Officers attended the scene and following further enquiries, a 26-year old male was arrested on suspicion of affray and possession of a controlled drug. No complaints were made and there have been no reports of any injuries at this time.

"The arrested male has been taken to a local police station for questioning.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact @MerPolCC, 101 quoting ref. 728 of 16/2/19 or Crimestoppers".

Racegoers described watching the violence unfold.

“It was something out of a horror scene, it was traumatic,” one racegoer told the Press Association.

“The security tried to intervene but you couldn’t do anything at this point they had to sort of let them sort it out.

“There were families and kids there, they were bumping into prams and as you can see on the video there’s a mum and child being rushed off by security.

“Early on in the footage she gets pushed over.

“Everyone was so shocked because it was such a nice day and the weather was good and then it just turned.”

The racegoer said he did not know how the fighting started.

“I just think it was a drunken mess to be honest, but I have to clarify this was a minority and this is not how everyone behaves at racing,” he said.

“Racing is not the type of event where this happens, racing events are amazing.

“There will be people there who think I’m never going to a race event ever again and that’s why things like this are so wrong.”

A Haydock Park spokesman said: "We take a zero tolerance position on antisocial behaviour. The perpetrators were ejected at the time and we are continuing to work with the police on this matter."

Racegoers expressed their dismay after the incident on social media.

Paul Wilson wrote: "A shame as the racing was excellent today. We left the bar after the 5th race to find somewhere quieter. It's up to @haydockraces to stop this happening. Totally within their control".

Adam Green said: "As a big racing fan it disappoints me to see this as I know the hard work that goes on to attract people to the sport, only for the minority to potentially spoilt it. Let’s hope no one is put off and that they come back".