BRECONSHIRE RACECOURSE

Aintree racecourse;Ascot;Ayr;Bangor;Bath;Beverley;Brighton;Carlisle;Cartmel;Catterick;Cheltenham Festival;Chepstow;Chester;Doncaster St Leger;Epsom Derby;Exeter racecourse;Fakenham;Folkestone;Fontwell Park;Glorious Goodwood;Hamilton Park;Haydock Park;Hereford Racecourse;Hexham;Huntingdon;Kelso;Kempton Park;Leicester;Lingfield;Ludlow;Market Rasen;Musselburgh;Newbury Racecourse;Newcastle;Newmarket;Newton Abbot;Nottingham;Perth;Plumpton;Pontefract Racecourse;Redcar;Ripon;Salisbury;Sandown Park;Sedgefield;Southwell;Stratford;Taunton;Thirsk;Towcester;Uttoxeter;Warwick;Wetherby;Wincanton;Windsor;Wolverhampton;Worcester;Yarmouth;York Ebor

Earliest meeting: Thursday 29th September 1825
Final meeting: Monday 14th September 1868

Breconshire Racecourse was situated by the side of the River Usk, just on the outskirts of the town of Brecon. There is evidence of racing taking place throughout the period 1825 to 1868, although mysteriously the Racing Calendar does not record racing in 1851. The inaugural two day meeting was held on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th September 1825 when the opening Free Plate was won by Mr Pryse’s Doctor Eady. The next race was restricted to gentlemen resident in the Principality or Monmouth or Hereford, and saw Mr J H Powell’s Sweetbriar beat Wisp. A second Free Plate was staged the next day when Captain Davies’s Mima beat the wonderfully named Ynysymaengwyn.  Meetings continued to be organised annually and at the two day event on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th September 1839 the Ladies of Breconshire sponsored a 2 mile race, the Ladies Plate, when ‘a splendid Silver Tea Service’ was won by Mr Walmsley’s Catamaran beating Bay Hampton and The Nile. Both the Usk Stakes, over a mile and three quarters, and the one mile County Stakes were won by Captain Fendall’s Nell. The card on the second day was more varied, consisting of Hack, Hurdle and Pony races. By the 1860s the meetings were supported by prominent turf dignitaries, including His Grace the Duke of Beaufort. The ‘neat, compact and commodious stand’ was erected specifically for Lord Tredegar and his entourage, while Lord Uxbridge also entertained a large party. The racing was not as widely reported as in previous years, although the Breconshire Stakes went to Doncaster; the Beaufort Stakes to Lady Williams, and the Usk Stakes to Fast Runner. It was noticeable that fields were significantly depleted, with a maximum of three contesting each race. After racing an Ordinary, attended by an immense group of gentlemen, was held at the Castle Hotel in Tredegar. In 1866 the Stewards Cup was won by Gomera, owned by the Duke of Beaufort, but within 2 years the course had closed, staging its final meeting on Monday 14th September 1868. The famous jockey Geoff Lewis was born in Brecon close to the former racecourse.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Duke of Beaufort, Lord Tredegar, Lord Uxbridge, Captain B Davies, Captain Pettat
Principal Races Breconshire Stewards Cup, South Wales Produce Stakes, Breconshire Stakes

Wednesday 28th & Thursday 29th SEPTEMBER 1836

The South Wales Produce Stakes took place on Wednesday 28th September over 2 miles for 3 year olds. The result was:-
1. MANTUA 7st 13lb Owned by Captain B Davies
2. MOMUS 8st 2lb Owned by Captain B Davies
3. BARNACLES 8st 7lb Owned by Mr Andrew

Also at the Wednesday 28th September meeting the records show that 2 further races took place, the Usk Stakes and The Ladies Plate with the following result:-LADIES PLATE
1. CHANGELING 9st 5lb Owned by Mr J H Peel
2. LATONA 9st 5lb Owned by Mr Davis
3. CALIPH 8st 13lb Owned by Captain Pettat

The meeting extended to a second day on Thursday 29th September and included a Hurdle Stakes, Members' Plate, County Stakes, Welter Stakes and the Breconshire Stakes. The Breconshire Stakes
1. THE SCHOOLMASTER 5 years old 8st 2lb Owned by Mr Smythie
2. CHANGELING 6 years old 9st 0lb Owned by Mr J H Peel
3. DESPERATE 4 years old 7st 6lb Owned by Mr Reeves

In 1866 the Stewards Cup took place and was won by Gomera who was owned by the Duke of Beaufort. I am indebted to Colin James for the scan of the Stewards Cup.

The final race meeting took place on Monday 14th September 1868.
Course today By the side of the River Usk on the outskirts of the town.
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.
ORDER FORM
Download an order form
  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    
Postage & Packaging    
Total    
Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com