Horse Racing in North East England
Horse racing in North East England dates back to at least the early 1600s. Over the next centuries, popularity of the equestrian sport rose and many of the region’s racecourses established themselves as major venues in Great Britain. They include:
Redcar Racecourse, Redcar, North Yorkshire. It opened in 1875 but the course traces its history to the 18th century when the races were much simpler and the prizes much more modest. After the First World War and then the Second World War, the course was neglected. It restored its reputation as one of the finest venues in the region only after the arrival of Major Leslie Petch in 1946 although it took some time to get the course back into top condition.
Ripon Racecourse, Ripon, North Yorkshire. Horse racing on the today’s Ripon Racecourse began only in 1900 but the sport itself in the area has a long history, dating back to the 17th century. Also nicknamed as the “Garden Racecourse”, the Ripon Racecourse is situated within picturesque surroundings and one of England’s most beautiful cities.
Thirsk Racecourse, Thirsk, North Yorkshire. The thoroughbred horse racing venue opened in 1923 but horse racing here began more than two centuries earlier. Just like other county’s finest horse racing venues, the Thirsk Racecourse is also a popular year-round venue for a variety of events including conferences, charity events, weddings, exhibitions, etc..
Hexam Racecourse, Hexam, Northumberland. Northumberland’s only racecourse opened in the 1720s but today’s course and facilities date to the late 19th century. It is the most north National Hunt racing course in England and as a result, race meetings start only in April.
Sedgefield Racecourse, Sedgefield, County Durham. Horse racing at the village of Sedgefield near the city of Durham was organised since at least 1730s but little is known about the early history of the equestrian sport in the area. A club was founded at Sedgefield in 1804 by Ralph Lambton but recognised horse racing began only in the 1840s. By the beginning of the First World War, the course hosted two day fixture each March. After the foundation of the new Racecourse Company in the late 1920s, the fixtures soon increased to today’s level.
Catterick Bridge Racecourse, Catterick Bridge, North Yorkshire. One of the favourite venues for both trainers and fans of horse racing in the North East is hosting races since the mid-17th century. A permanent course, however, was created in early 19th century, while both the course and facilities went through many improvements in the 20th century.
Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park (Newcastle upon Tyne), Tyne and Wear. One of the finest horse racing courses in North England dates its history to the early 1880s when the Northumberland Plate was transferred to Gosforth Park. The Northumberland Plate remains the racecourse’s biggest meeting but it also hosts the Chipchase Stakes and National Hunt races the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and the Eider Chase, to mention only a few highlights.