ATHERSTONE RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Saturday 23rd September 1730
Final meeting: Wednesday 24th March 1909
The Warwickshire town of Atherstone can trace its history back to Roman times and is situated close to Watling Street. Baily’s Racing Register first provided detailed results from races held at Atherstone on Saturday 23rd September 1730 when Now-or-Never won the feature race. Racing continued in the town until a revolution in 1870 when the National Hunt Committee made an attempt to formalise racing. As a consequence a number of courses wishing to continue their old traditions chose the point to point route, the route which Atherstone chose to go down. The most productive period of National Hunt racing in Atherstone was between 1905 and 1909 on a racecourse situated on Race Meadow in the north-east of the town to the west of Atherstone Hall. The races were organised by the Atherstone Hunt Committee, which had always played a leading role in organising point-to-point races in the town. The final meeting under rules was staged on Wednesday 24th March 1909 and the final race won by Sandhurst.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Mackworth, Mr Egerton
Principal Races

Foxhunters Handicap Chase, Atherstone Farmers’ Chase

Saturday 23rd September 1730

Atherstone £20 Plate
1. Now-or-Never owned by Mr Mackworth
2. Vulcan owned by Mr Egerton

The most prominent period when races took place in Atherstone was in the four year period between 1905 and 1909. The races were organised by the Atherstone Hunt Committee, which had always played a leading role in organising point-to-point races in the town.

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 24th March 1909
Course today

Atherstone now stages point-to-point meetings, although they are not on the old racecourse but at Clifton-on-Dunsmore.

If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email johnwslusar@gmail.com

Much of the information about this course has been found using internet research and is in the public domain. However, useful research sources have been:-

London Illustrated News

Racing Illustrated 1895-1899

The Sporting & Dramatic Illustrated

Northern Turf History Volumes 1-4 by J.Fairfax-Blakeborough

The Sporting Magazine

A Long Time Gone by Chris Pitt first published in 1996 ISBN 0 900599 89 8

Racing Calendars which were first published in 1727

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing johnwslusar@gmail.com stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
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