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Earliest Meeting: Thursday 17th May 1722
Final Meeting: Tuesday 18th June 1723
The small Rutland village of Empingham is located 6 miles due east of Oakham, the county town of Rutland, and enjoys beautiful countryside, benefitting from the nearby Rutland Water. Indeed, as the reservoir was being constructed in 1975 it was called Empingham Reservoir, and it was only after its completion in 1976 that it was permanently named Rutland Water in order to preserve the old county name when it merged with Leicestershire. The village gained fame during the War of the Roses when the Battle of Empingham was fought in 1470. Over 250 years later the village made use of its glorious open countryside to host races. The Stamford Mercury advertised a meeting in their edition of Thursday 10th May 1721, with the extract shown below, and the meeting was staged a week later on Thursday 17th May 1722. Unfortunately the newspaper did not report the results of the meeting.

Over 1600 former racecourses are covered in Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Roger Buswell
Principal Races Empingham 6 Guineas Plate, Empingham Saddle & Bridle

The newspaper extract below is shown courtesy of the Stamford Mercury and British Newspaper Online.

On the outskirts of the village, an area was called Losecote Field because in 1470 a battle in the War of the Roses was fought, when the Lancastrian army was defeated by the Yorkshire army. In 1723 the Stamford Mercury advertised a two day meeting which was held on Empingham Heath, beginning on Monday 17th June 1723 when a 40 Guineas Purse was contested for horses, mares and gelding each carrying 10 stone. On Tuesday 18th June a 20 Guineas Weight For Age Handicap was held for Galloway horses of 14 hands high, each horse carrying 9 stone. Horses had to be registered on Tuesday 11th June and then stabled at The White Horse in the centre of the village. To this day the White Horse continues to play a prominent role in village life.
Although the Stamford Mercury advertised the races, there is no evidence that they subsequently went on to publish the results.

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 18th June 1723.
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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