BATH STEEPLECHASES RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: February 1838
Final meeting: Friday 8th February 1856
The earliest record of Steeplechase racing taking place in the small Somerset village of Hinton Charterhouse, a civil parish close to the city of Bath, was in February 1838. Today the village boasts a population of barely 500, which includes the nearby village of Midford. The village grew up around the Carthusian Hinton Priory which dated from 1232 and was founded by Ela, the Countess of Salisbury. There is a Grade I listed building in the village which is the old chapter house of the Priory. Racing was intermittent for the next 15 years until a controversial meeting was staged on Thursday 10th February 1853 when a 3 race card was contested. The Grand Open Steeplechase was run over 4 miles when Ringleader defeated Forest Lad and 2 others. However, there was no more than a head between them at the line and no judge was present, so the race was declared void. In the re-run Forest Lad got the better of Ringleader and 2 others. At the same meeting the Free Handicap was won by Iodine and the Stag Hunt Steeplechase by Gipsy Bess. The final meeting took place on Friday 8th February 1856 when the Hunters Handicap went to Bill Beans owned by Mr A Wall, and the Bath and Somerset Handicap was won by General Evans owned by Mr Pattison.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr C Higgins, Mr Balfe
Principal Races Grand Open Steeplechase 

Thursday 10th February 1853
Grand Open Steeplechase over 4 miles
1. Forest Lad, aged horse owned by Mr C Higgins
2. Ringleader, aged horse owned by Mr Balfe
3. Leporella, aged horse owned by Mr Barry
4. Kate Kearney, aged mare owned by Mr Smith

The final meeting took place on Friday 8th February 1856.
Course today On a four mile steeplechase course in the village of Hinton Charterhouse.
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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