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Earliest meeting: Thursday 10th April 1862
Final meeting: Thursday 11th April 1867
The Garleton Hills, on the northern side of the town of Haddington in East Lothian, was the setting for the Scottish National Hunt races held in the mid-1800s. The inaugural meeting took place on Thursday 10th April 1862 under the direction of the East Lothian Steeplechase committee, when the Haddington Hunt Steeplechase was won by Little Nell for Mr J Waugh. The course, on property owned by the Earl of Weymss, was spread across 4 fields with six drystone dykes, each 3 ½ feet high, presenting formidable obstacles. Meetings were held continuously for the next 5 years, either in April or May, and at the meeting on Thursday 7th April 1864 the Haddington Handicap was won by Weatherwise for Mr Moore, defeating Mr N Mitchell’s Innes. Later in the afternoon the feature Lothian Hunt Sweepstakes over 2 miles was won by Mr Hamilton’s Edgar, at the main expense of Maid of Tantallon and Sauchline. The final two day meeting took place on Thursday 11th and Friday 12th April 1867, providing jockey John Laurence with five winners. He was born with horse racing in his blood being the son of John Laurence the Master of the Llangibby and Chepstow hounds. He joined up with the 4th Hussars where he honed his riding skills, using them to good effect around the local National Hunt courses. On Thursday 11th April he won the North Berwick Cup over 3 ½ miles aboard Mr R Calder’s Daybreak before landing the Metropolitan Handicap, also over 3 ½ miles, with Mr R Calder’s Lyra. He concluded the first day of racing with victory aboard Mr Williamson’s Maid of Tantallon in the County Cup. Fully refreshed, and still on a high, the next day he won the Hunt Plate on Lochshiel before completing a five-timer aboard Mr R Calder’s Lyra in the Haddington Handicap.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Earl of Weymss, Sir David Baird, Sir Hugh Dalrymple
Principal Races Lothian Hunt Steeplechase, East Lothian Steeplechase, Haddington Handicap

Thursday 7th April 1864
The Lothian Hunt Sweepstakes over 2 miles
1. Edgar, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Hamilton
2. Maid of Tantallon, bay mare owned by Mr Williamson
3. Sauchline, bay gelding owned by Mr James Hope
Betting: 4/6 Edgar, 2/1 Maid of Tantallon, 8/1 Sauchline

The final meeting took place on Thursday 11th April 1867.
Course today A course across 4 fields on the Earl of Weymss’ estate.
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

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 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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  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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