DUNFERMLINE RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Thursday 23rd July 1801
Final meeting: Friday 14th July 1876
The large Scottish town of Dunfermline, in Fife, is located some 5 kilometres from the Firth of Forth. Although it is known that a Silver Bell was contested in the town as early as 1610, it was almost two centuries later that the meetings took on some importance. Throughout the 19th century the town staged race meetings, the first of which was a two day meeting on Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th July 1801. It was unfortunate that the organisers had not realised that the meeting clashed with the well-established Hamilton meeting, meaning only 4 horses in total contested the two races. In the opening Weight for Age Handicap over 4 miles Mr Fletcher’s Logie O’Buchan beat Bryan O’Lynn, while the next day the same combination won the Handicap beating Betty and Sandy. The meetings were held 1 ½ miles south of the town on a 50 acre field on Easter Gellet Farm in the Rosebank Mains district. The organising committee were no doubt disappointed with the turnout and racing ceased in the town for a considerable period. The meeting held on Friday 16th July 1869 proved to be particularly popular, with train excursions from Perth, Dundee and Glasgow. The opening Dunfermline Stakes was won by Mr Eddie’s Idle, while during the day the Lassodie Instrumental Band ‘discoursed sweet music’ to keep the crowd entertained. Two years later, at the meeting on 14th July 1871 the Dunfermline Handicap, over a mile and a half, and the Hunters’ and Yeomanry Handicap were both won by Mr H Greet’s Aggravator. Meetings continued for the next 5 years until a final card took place on the East Baldridge course on Friday 14th July 1876.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Scott, Mr Dewar
Principal Races

Dunfermline Stakes, Wellwood Stakes, Elgin Stakes

Friday 16th July 1869
Elgin Stakes, confined to Fife horses
1. Little Nell, bay filly owned by Mr Scott
2. Lady Jane, aged horse owned by Mr Dewar
3. Unnamed dun horse owned by Mr Wilson

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

The final meeting took place on Friday 14th July 1876.
Course today Easter Gellet Farm 1 ½ miles south from the town centre.
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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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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