FOWEY RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: April 1864
Final meeting: Tuesday 9th May 1871
The small Cornish town of Fowey lies in the south of the county and is famous for two forms of racing. It held regattas for a long period of time, but back in the late 19th century it organised horse race meetings on a number of farms over a number of years. Although it is known that a meeting was held in 1864, few details survive except from a report in the Royal Cornish Gazette (7th April 1865) which stated that 'the meeting in 1865 was a decided improvement on that of the previous year'. Details of the 1865 meeting are shown below. One of the most detailed records of racing in Fowey was on Monday 18th April 1870 when a card was staged at Lawhibbette Farm, near Castle Door (Castledore) and just two miles from Par railway station. The 2 ½ mile course was over ploughed fields and the meeting opened with the Ladies Plate which went to Mr F B Cory’s Lucy. The Feature race, the St Austell Stakes, was won by Mr Vincent’s Jessie, while the day concluded with the Lostwithiel Stakes over 2 ½ miles which saw Mr Sobey’s Bessie beat Radical. Races continued for a considerable time after this meeting, sometimes at Hill Hay Farm (Also recorded in newspapers of the day as Hill Bay Farm, Hill Haye Farm or Hillhay Farm), and sometimes at Windmill Farm, although the cards increasingly included pony and Galloway races. Full details of the Hill Hay Years 1887-1908 are contained in Tony Lake's book.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Anyone interested in reading a comprehensive report on Fowey Races is directed to a 16 page booklet 'A brief history of Fowey Races' by Tony Lake. Copies are available by emailing johnwslusar@gmail.com
Local Patrons Mr W R Soboy, Mr James Oliver, Mr W W Wreford (Stewards)
Principal Races St Austell Stakes, Lostwithiel Stakes

April 1865
Fowey Hunt Open Chase

£3 to the winner, £2 to the second
1. Charlie, owned by Mr Sydney Cardell and ridden by Cardell
2. Dick, owned by the Fowey Hunting Club and ridden by Prynne
3. Why Not, owned and ridden by John Sobey

Fowey Harriers Chase
1. Lucy, owned by Mr Andrews and ridden by Dyer
2. Lion, owned by Mr Anstey and ridden by S Hoare
3. Little Topsy, owned by Captain Sobey and ridden by John Sobey
4. Bessy, owned and ridden by Mr Higgs
5. Fanny, owned by Mr Hicks and ridden by Body

Monday 18th April 1870
St Austell Stakes
1. Jessie, grey mare owned by Mr Vincent
2. Bob, aged horse owned by Mr Higgs
3. Radical, bay horse owned by Mr J C Davis

The final meeting consisting entirely of thoroughbred racing took place on Tuesday 9th May 1871 when the card consisted of The Lostwithiel Steeplechase Stakes, the St Austell Steeplechase Stakes, the Fowey Hunt Steeplechase and the Consolation Steeplechase. The Stewards were Jno. Gilbert, Jas Oliver, W R Sobet, William Harris, Edmund Body, Jno Langeford, T Sobey and William Burton, while the Clerk of the Scales was Lieutenant F B Williams. There was a good deal of speculation about why races discontinued at Fowey, ranging from friction amongst the organisers, to the changing mood Nationally against country meetings. A clear line was being drawn between formal race meetings on Closed courses, meetings under the jurisdiction of the National Hunt Committee and Point to Point racing, and it is unclear under which of these codes Fowey races could have continued.
Course today At a range of farms including Lawhibbette, Hill Hay and Windmill Farm.
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    
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