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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 19th March 1839
Final meeting: Thursday 26th March 1846
The earliest indication of racing taking place in the Suffolk village of Botesdale was in 1839 when a meeting was recorded in the Norfolk Weekly News. The village is located some 6 miles south west of Diss and 25 miles from Norwich, and that initial meeting took place on Tuesday 19th March 1839. The next year the meeting was held on Tuesday 24th March 1840 when the feature Botesdale Farmers Cup was won by Gipsey (sic) ridden by Ellis. Racing continued annually for the next 7 years until the final meeting took place on Thursday 26th March 1846.  

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr J Blomfield, Mr Sheldrake Smith
Principal Races Botesdale Farmers Cup, Botesdale Hurdle Race, Botesdale Sweepstakes

Tuesday 24th March 1840

The Botesdale Farmers Cup
1. Gipsey (sic) owned by Mr J Blomfield
2. Moses owned by Mr Sheldrake Smith
3. Predictor owned by Mr E Dodd
The winner was ridden by Ellis

Botesdale Hurdle Race over a mile
1. Changeling owned by Mr Sare

Botesdale Sweepstakes
1. Creole owned by Mr Maddox
2. Vixen owned by Mr G St V Wilson

The final meeting took place on Thursday 26th March 1846
Course today In fields on the outskirts of the village.
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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