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 However, an appeal by a significant number of local sportsmen enabled the threat to be withdrawn and Folkestone won a reprieve.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

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.
ORDER FORM
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  Quantity Cost
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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Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com