BEDALE RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Thursday 6th October 1726
Final meeting: Tuesday 26th October 1762.
The earliest recorded meeting in the Yorkshire town of Bedale was on Thursday 6th October 1726 on the racecourse situated on what is the present Bedale Cricket Ground. The feature race, the Bedale Chase, saw Mr Johnstone’s chestnut colt defeat entries by Lord Gower and Mr Shaw. Baily’s Racing Register first included the racing results from Bedale two years later when the meeting was held on the first Thursday after Michaelmas in September. The final meeting took place on Tuesday 26th October 1762, although minor meetings were revived in October 1876, and repeated again on Thursday 4th October 1877. However, neither event was under racing rules, but led to later, more regular point to point meetings being organised.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Duke of Bolton, Duke of Cleveland, Lord Gower
Principal Races Bedale Chase, Gentlemen’s Subscription Purse

Thursday 30th September 1728

Bedale 30 Guineas Plate
1. Moor-Hen owned by The Duke of Bolton
2. Unnamed Grey colt owned by Mr Gallant

Up to 1731 it was the norm for horses to be at least 5 before racing, indeed King’s Plate horses had to be at least 6 years old. There were rare instances, for example at Black Hambleton in 1727, when races for 4 year olds were staged, but at Bedale on 1st October 1731 a race for 3 year olds carrying 8 stone was held over a single 3 mile race in which 9 faced the starter.

Tuesday 26th to Wednesday 27th October 1762

Bedale 2 mile Purse
1. Nancy Dawson owned by Mr Crowther
2. Hopewell owned by Mr Pearson
3. Molly Be Steady owned by Miss Betty Pearson

Bedale 2 mile Weight for Age Handicap
1. Twigg owned by Mr Cornforth
2. Newland owned by Mr Jollife
3. Ganymede owned by Mr Scroope

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 26th October 1762.

Thursday 6th October 1726
The Bedale Chase B16
1. Unnamed chestnut colt owned by Mr Johnstone
2. Unnamed chestnut colt owned by Lord Gower and ridden by Hutton
3. Unnamed chestnut colt owned by Mr Shaw
An amazing field of 17 started and the majority fell.

Course today On what is now Bedale Cricket Ground.
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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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
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