FOLKESTONE RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 30th March 1898
Final meeting: Tuesday 18th December 2012
The earliest evidence of a desire for racing in the vicinity of the Kent town of Folkestone was in 1896 when the Folkestone Racecourse Company was formed under the Chairmanship of Lord Hardinge and charged with planning the inaugural meeting close to the East Stour river. Within 2 years the first meeting was staged at Westenhanger Park, about 8 miles from Folkestone, on Wednesday 30th March 1898 on a right handed oval course with a run-in of 3 furlongs and a separate 7 furlong sprint course. By 1899 the company was struggling financially, but races continued up to the start of the War. After the Second World War racing resumed, although it was seldom of the high class racing and the location of the course did not lend itself to enormous crowds. In 1963, in line with many courses at the time, Folkestone was threatened with extinction by the withdrawal of Levy Board Funding. However, an appeal by a significant number of local sportsmen enabled the threat to be withdrawn and Folkestone won a reprieve. This should have been a wake-up call for the management to invest in new facilities and update the course. When Arena Leisure took over the running of the course the hope was that the necessary improvements would be made.  In the first decade of the 21st century plans were afoot to develop part of the land on which the racecourse stood and use the money from the project to invest in the racecourse. This did not happen and the course closed on Tuesday 18th December 2012.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr P Alleyne
Principal Races Ramsgate Handicap Steeplechase, Dover Handicap Hurdle

Monday 21st December 1908
Ramsgate Handicap Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Bob Sawyer, 6 year old owned by Mr G C Poole
2. Spinning Coin, 6 year old owned by Miss H G Studd
3. Alert II, aged horse owned by Mr R C de Crespigny
Betting: 5/4 Redgrove, 9/2 Alert II, 7/1 Bob Sawyer

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 18th December 2012.
Course today At Westenhanger Park, 8 miles from Folkestone.
For information on Folkestone racing badges CLICK HERE
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

Folkestone 1915.JPG (10369 bytes)
1905 Ladies 1906 Ladies 1906 Gents 1915 Ladies
1922 Ladies 1924 Gents 1924 Ladies 1926 Gents
1926 Ladies 1927 Ladies 1928 Ladies 1929 Gents
1929 Ladies 1930 Gents 1931 Ladies 1931 Gents
1933 Ladies 1933 Gents 1937 Pair 1938 Ladies
1938 Gents 1939 Pair 1947 Ladies 1948 Gents
1948 Ladies 1949 Ladies 1950 Ladies 1950 Gents
1951 Ladies 1952 Ladies 1952 Gents 1953 Ladies
1953 Gents 1954 Gents 1955 Ladies 1955 Gents
1956 Ladies 1956 Gents 1957 Ladies 1957 Gents
1958 Ladies 1958 Gents 1959 Ladies 1959 Gents
1960 Ladies 1960 Gents 1961 Ladies 1961 Gents
1962 Ladies 1963 Ladies 1963 Gents 1964 Ladies
Folkestone 1966KTL.JPG (23026 bytes)
1964 Gents 1965 Ladies 1965 Gents 1966 Ladies
1966 Gents 1967 Ladies 1967 Gents 1968 Ladies
1968 Gents 1969 Ladies 1969 Gents 1970 Ladies
Folkestone 1972.JPG (17210 bytes)
1970 Gents 1971 Gents 1972 Gents 1973 Ladies
1973 Gents 1974 Ladies 1975 Gents 1976 Ladies
Folkestone 1977.JPG (22611 bytes)
1976 Gents 1977 Gents 1978 Gents 1979 Gents
Folkestone 1980.JPG (19056 bytes)
1980 Gents 1981 Gents 1982 Gents 1983 Gents
1984 Gents 1985 Gents 1986 Gents 1987 Gents
Folkestone 1989.JPG (14775 bytes)
1988 Gents 1989 Gents 1990 Gents 1991 Gents
1992 Gents 1993 Gents 1994 Gents 1995 Gents
1996 Gents 1997 Gents 1998 Gents 1999 Gents
2000 Gents 2001 Gents 2002 Gents 2003 Gents
2004 Gents 2005 Gents 2006 Gents 2007 Gents
 
2008 Gents 2009 Gents 2010 Gents  

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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