BONCATH RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Friday 10th March 1843
Final meeting: Thursday 3rd April 1902
The Tivyside Hunt committee was formed in the early 1700s, although it did not become registered until a meeting held at the Black Lion Hotel in Cardigan in 1736. By the 19th century the Hunt Group diversified and organised National Hunt racing close to the Pembrokeshire village of Boncath, located some 5 miles west of Newcastle Emlyn. The village was originally a small hamlet, lying at the crossroads linking 3 larger areas, with the Boncath Inn holding a prime location at the crossroads since 1862. Boncath began to develop once the Whitland and Taf Vale railway arrived in 1885; benefiting from a railway station right up to the time the Beeching axe fell.  Races were certainly taking place before the 1850s, although the cards were of minor significance and included pony races. One of the earliest recorded meetings was staged on Friday 10th March 1843 at the Pentre course, just a mile from Boncath and 5 miles from Cardigan. Meetings continued on a regular basis for almost 60 years, and at the meeting on Tuesday 11th April 1882 the Cardigan Hurdle, over 2 miles and 8 hurdles, was won by Mr Richardson’s Vulcan, while the Tivyside Selling Hurdle went to Lady Mary for Mr Lort Phillips. At the meeting on Wednesday 11th April 1894 the Cilast Plate was the feature race of the day and saw Bengal beat Wisdom and Kingcraft. Crowds decreased and fields were depleted towards the end of the 19th century, with the final meeting taking place on Thursday 3rd April 1902.


This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Patrons Sir Marteine Lloyd, Major Howell, Mr G Lort Phillips
Principal Races Tivyside Steeplechase, Cilast Plate, Cardigan Hurdle

Wednesday 11th April 1894
Cilast Plate over 3 ½ miles
1. Bengal, aged horse owned by Mr G S Davies
2. Wisdom, aged horse owned by Mr L S Rees
3. Kingcraft, aged horse owned by Mr J V Colby
Betting: 2/1 Bengal, 5/2 Kingcraft, 3/1 Investment

The final meeting took place on Thursday 3rd April 1902.
Course today

At Pentre, just a mile from the village of Boncath.

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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