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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 30th March 1887
Final meeting: Thursday 4th May 1939
The small market town of Cowbridge, situated just 7 miles west of Cardiff in the Vale of Glamorgan, first held races in 1769, with Flat racing taking place, on and off, under various names including Glamorgan, Cowbridge and Glamorganshire, for the next 86 years. Although Flat racing came to an end on Wednesday 7th November 1855, a Cowbridge National Hunt course was established at Penlline, enabling racing to resume at Cowbridge in the latter part of the 1800s under the direction of the Glamorgan Hunt Steeplechase Committee. A meeting is known to have taken place on Wednesday 30th March 1887 on what was known locally as ‘Hunt Week’.  Lord Tradegar was the chief Steward and the card opened with the United Hunts Steeplechase which saw Mr Thomas’ Ovation beat Mostyn. The Glamorgan Hunt Cup was won by Mr Dowson’s Ulster, while the Penlline Hunters race went to the 5/1 shot Tom King. Races continued to be held annually until April 1914 when the outbreak of the First World War put paid to racing for the next 6 years. The Glamorgan Hunt committee began staging racing again after the War had ended, with the first meeting taking place in April 1920. Racing continued to be popular, although there was a two year break in 1934 and 1935, before racing resumed until the outbreak of World War Two. The final meeting took place on Thursday 4th May 1939.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Tredegar, Colonel F C Morgan
Principal Races

Glamorgan Hunt Cup, Glamorgan Hunt Chase, Bassett Hunters’ Chase

Wednesday 30th March 1887
Penlline Open Hunters Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Tom King, aged horse owned by Mr Olive
2. Sugar Candy, aged horse owned by Mr Thomas
3. Loyalty, aged horse owned by Mr Morgan
Betting: 4/6 Sugar Candy, 4/1 Tom King, 5/1 Loyalty

The final meeting took place on Thursday 4th May 1939.

Course today National Hunt racing at Penlline.
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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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
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