BERKS & OXON HUNT RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 24th April 1883
Final meeting: Thursday 27th April 1899
The Oxfordshire town of Abingdon was the home of the race meetings organised by the Berks and Oxon Hunt Committee. At one stage in its history Abingdon was the county town of Berkshire and, being on the border with Oxfordshire, seemed the natural location for a Berks and Oxon joint race meeting. The first meeting was held on Tuesday 24th April 1883 at a course on Otney Meadows, near to the village of Sutton Wick, although the year before a meeting had been organised under the auspices of the Abbey Army Cadets but not under rules.  By 1884 the meeting was firmly established in the calendar and took place on Tuesday 15th April 1884, continuing at Otney Meadows, just a couple of miles from Abingdon. The opening United Hunt Cup over 3 miles went to Pilot, owned by Mr C Piggott, who finished alone. The more competitive Caldecott Open Hunters’ Chase also went to Pilot, who beat Nevula and Sally. In the evening musical entertainment was provided in the Crown & Thistle Hotel. The meetings continued to be well supported by the hunting community for the next 15 years until a final event on Thursday 27th April 1899.


This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Patrons Sir W Throckmorton, Hon. Osbert Craven, Major Blackwood
Principal races Old Berkshire Hunt Cup, Caldecott Open Hunters’ Chase

Tuesday 15th April 1884
Old Berkshire Hunt Cup over 2 ½ miles
1. Woodman, aged horse owned by Mr W Dolley
2. Noble, aged horse owned by Mr Norrington
3. Leo, aged horse owned by Mr J Tustin

The final meeting took place on Thursday 27th April 1899.
Course today At Otney Meadows in Sutton Wick close to Abingdon.
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    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
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