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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 21st October 1863
Final meeting: Saturday 10th April 1869
The Hertfordshire market town of Bishop’s Stortford is on the county border with Essex and lies just 26 miles from Charing Cross. In the middle of the 19th century a race meeting was organised by the 1st Herts Light Horse Corps on Wednesday 21st October 1863. It was a novel meeting in many ways, not least because all jockeys wore uniforms but with different coloured crossbelts. The meeting took place at Silver Leys, on a half mile round course, and after the 5 race card there was a Ball at the Assembly Rooms Corn Exchange with music by Weippert’s Band. Meetings followed annually, although the steeplechase meeting on Tuesday 17th March 1868 moved to a course within walking distance of the railway station. The final meeting was staged on Saturday 10th April 1869.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Patrons 1st Herts Light Horse Corps, Sergeant Major Harvey (Clerk of scales)
Principal races Bishop’s Stortford Silver Cup, Ladies Plate

Saturday 21st October 1865
Bishop’s Stortford Silver Cup over 1 ½ miles
1. Louth owned by Mr J Barker
2. Queen Bertha owned by Mr R Clarke
3. Lady Vane owned by Corporal Everitt
4. Gay Lad owned by Sergeant Bowtell

Course today At Silver Leys.
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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