COWBRIDGE RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 31st August 1768
Final meeting: Thursday 4th May 1939
The small Norman market town of Cowbridge, situated just 7 miles west of Cardiff in the Vale of Glamorgan, first held races on Wednesday 31st August 1768.  The two day meeting opened with a Purse for 4 year olds run in heats which saw Mr Hopkin’s Lime Carrier defeat Gimcrack and Mr Symmonds’s chestnut colt. The next day a two race programme began with a Free Purse in which Mr Hanbury’s Virgin beat South East and Pateraro, while the concluding race, restricted to Welsh horses, was won by Mr Jones’s bay horse General. Such was the popularity of the meeting that it was extended to four days the next year, stretching from Wednesday 4th to Saturday 7th October 1769. Races on the first three days were restricted to Glamorgan bred horses, Mr Harris’s Choice winning on day one, Mr Edmondes’s Gimcrack on day two, and Mr Jenkin’s Fair Rachael on day three. On the concluding day an Open Handicap sent punters home happy when the 3/2 favourite (6/4 in today’s money) Ranthos defeated Pigmy and Wilkes.  Flat races took place intermittently for the next 87 years under various names including Glamorgan, Cowbridge and Glamorganshire on a course at Stalling Down. The meeting on Wednesday 7th November 1855 was dominated by Captain Erskine and Mr T Parr. The opening Trial Stakes was won by Mr T Parr’s Challow Boy who got the better of Captain Erskine’s Donna. The Borough Stakes was also captured by Mr T Parr with Fatalist, while the Consolation Handicap went to Captain Erskine with Donna.  Although the final Flat meeting took place on Wednesday 7th November 1855, National Hunt meetings, billed as Glamorgan Hunt, continued to operate at Penlline until Thursday 4th May 1939.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Erskine
Principal Races Glamorganshire Stakes, Borough Stakes

Wednesday 7th November 1855

The Trial Selling Stakes over 1 ¼ miles
1. Challow Boy owned by Mr T Parr
2. Donna owned by Captain Erskine
3. Eden owned by Mr Vivian

The Glamorganshire Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Bright Phoebus owned by Mr Cartwright
2. Fatalist owned by Mr T Parr
3. Freckle owned by Mr Brayley

The Borough Stakes over a mile
1. Fatalist owned by Mr T Parr
2. Liberty owned by Mr Davey
3. Tower owned by Mr H Lewis

The Consolation Handicap over 1 ¼ miles
1. Donna owned by Captain Erskine
2. Helene owned by Mr Lewis
3. Penelope owned by Mr Jarvis

The final Flat meeting took place on Wednesday 7th November 1855, although National Hunt meetings continued to operate until Thursday 4th May 1939.
Course today

Flat racing at Stalling Down and steeplechasing at Penlline.

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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