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Earliest meeting: March 1868
Final meeting: Wednesday 18th March 1874
Although racing was staged in the Plymouth town of Bickleigh in 1806 and 1807, further meetings also took place on Bickleigh Down for 6 years in the latter part of the 19th century. Races were organised by the Rodborough Hunt Committee, with the first meeting organised in 1868. Racing continued for just 2 more years until 15th June 1870. Lord Beresford then chaired a committee meeting, which also included Admiral Sir H Keppel, to revive the races in 1874 but the sole revival meeting took place on Wednesday 18th March 1874. The card opened with the Silver Cup Hurdle race won by Mr Edward’s Beatrice defeating Vixen. A busy day of racing came to an end with the Flying Scurry which saw Vixen gain revenge for an earlier defeat.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Patrons Lord Beresford, Admiral Sir H Keppel, Colonel Brine
Principal races Bickleigh Silver Cup Hurdle, Banking Scurry Cup, Flying Scurry

Wednesday 18th March 1874
Banking Scurry Cup over 2 miles
1. Nightwalker, black horse owned by Lord Beresford
2. Enniskillen, black gelding owned by Mr E Campbell
3. Bumptious, aged horse owned by Mr G Edwards

I am grateful to Mark Phillips who has provided a link to a map of Bickleigh/Bickleigh Down racecourse which was certainly operational from 1806.

Course today On Bickleigh Downs.
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

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 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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  Quantity Cost
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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