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There is evidence that racing took place in the brewing town of Burton on Trent, Staffordshire, before 1811 until the final meeting recorded as being held on 18th August 1840. The racecard shown at the foot of this article is from the 2 day meeting held in 1836. At this time races were held on Burton Meadow (see the map below).

Burton on Trent in 1836

burton racecourse.JPG (409223 bytes)


The 2 main inns of the day were The George Hotel and The White Hart which closed in 1960 (see scan below). At the former lunch (or Ordinaries) was held for the race stewards before the Tuesday meeting on 23rd August, while a similar meal was held at the White Hart Inn prior to the Wednesday meeting.

White Hart Hotel.JPG (363456 bytes)

The principal race on the Tuesday was The Bretby Cup worth 100 sovereigns to the winner. It was won by General Yates' Sylvan a 4 year old carrying 7st 12 lbs. defeating a field of 11 runners once around and the distance.

1      SYLVAN          4 year old      7st 12 lbs     General Yates

2     PARTISAN      3 year old        6st 4 lbs      Lord Chesterfield

3     HERON            3 year old        6st 4 lbs      Mr Fowler

Trent Bridge, with a road off of it, leading to the races at the time when races were held.

Trent Bridge.JPG (144514 bytes)

The races shown opposite were run at Burton on Tuesday 17th August to Wednesday 18th August 1824

Burton Gold Cup over 2 miles and a furlong
1. General Mina owned by Sir T Stanley
2. Birmingham owned by Lord Rancliffe

Burton Sweepstake over the straight mile
1. Fille de Joie owned by Mr Yates
2. Haji Baba owned by Sir T Stanley
3. Unnamed colt by Cato owned by Mr Haynes

Anglesea Plate over 3 miles (sic Anglesey)
1. Unnamed filly by Blacklock owned by Sir W Wynn
2. Little Driver owned by Mr Bowman
3. Master Richard owned by Mr Cato

Burton Ladies Plate over 2 miles
1. Belmont owned by Mr Peach
2. Unnamed brother to The Patriarch owned by Lord Anson
3. Alecto owned by Mr Barrow

The principal race on Wednesday 24th August wasThe Two Year Old Stakes worth 25 sovereigns. It was won by Mr E Peels Beggar my Neighbour carrying 8st 5 lbs.over the half mile trip defeating 3 rivals.

1    BEGGAR MY NEIGHBOUR    8st 5 lbs    Mr E Peel

2    GRANBY                                  8st 5 lbs    Mr W Lacy

3    PRIAM                                      8st 5 lbs    Lord Chesterfield

During the 2 day meeting there were 4 races on the first day and a further 3 on the second day, with two of the races, a 3 year old stakes and a Half Bred stakes not taking place due to lack of runners.

The meeting was to last for a further 4 years, with the final meeting on 18th August 1840.

Burton racecourse1.JPG (615717 bytes)

Wood's map of Burton 1837 clearly indicates the position of the racecourse in the top right hand corner of the map. I am grateful to Liz and Elwyn Rees-Jones for providing the evidence and the further details shown opposite. 

Prior to the meeting held on Burton Meadows in the 1800's there was racing in Burton on Outwood Hills in the Horninglow area. The principal race of the meeting was the King's Plate, but once the land was enclosed the race was transferred to the meeting at Lichfield. Subsequently the Lichfield racecourse at Whittington became a golf course and the winning post and part of the grandstand can be seen to this day.

The meeting at Outwood Hills was a popular affair which was advertised widely in the St James Evening Post from Thursday 28th August to Saturday 30th August 1718. The meeting took place on Thursday 20th September for a purse of 10 guineas, competed for by Galloways not exceeding 14 hands high. Each horse carried 9 stone and the race was over 3 heats.

On Wednesday 1st October 1718 a further meeting took place for a purse of 20 guineas for horses, mares and geldings carrying 10 stone. A condition of race entry was that the horses had to be entered at the Town Hall 8 days before the race and then had to be stabled at public houses in Burton.

burton racecard.JPG (489530 bytes)

The racecard shown above, from 1836,  is available for 60 credits

Today there are no visible signs of the racecourse that once existed in Burton on Trent, although the Library has provided evidence of its previous existence.

If you can provide any details about the course then email me at johnslusar@fsmail.net   XYZ