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Earliest meeting: Monday 18th November 1844
Final meeting: Thursday 19th March 1868
The East Lothian town of Gullane is on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. The town, whose name means ridge or shoulder, is steeped in history, boasting a church from the 9th century. The ruins of that and a later church can still be seen today. The town was one of the primary training centres in Scotland, dubbed the ‘Newmarket of Scotland’, with the legendary George Dawson born just down the road at Haddington. He had 4 sons and all of them became racehorse trainers, most notably Matt. The town also held its own races in the middle of the 19th century, with a meeting taking place on Gullane Links on Monday 18th November 1844. The feature race each year was the Gullane Steeplechase which was won by Joe Malley in 1859. The chief Steward at the meeting on Thursday 26th October 1848 was the Honourable F Charteris, ably supported by Sir David Baird, and the feature Member’s Plate was won by Mr Ransay’s Hornpipe from Shylock and Rob Roy. Races continued for a total of 24 years until a final meeting on Thursday 19th March 1868 when a six race card was staged. The meeting opened with the Hunters’ and Yeomanry Handicap over a mile and a half which saw Mr Easton’s Bachelor beat Emperor and Dark Agnes. The next race was the Elcho Cup, restricted to farmers’ horses, which was won by Mr McNiven’s Camperdown. The Haddington Welter Handicap Plate followed, rewarding gentlemen riders by imposing 7lb extra on ‘jockeys’. In what became a match, Mr D McNiven’s Barmaid won by an ever diminishing half a length from Mr Easton’s Bachelor. The management could not have been pleased with the small fields up to this point of the meeting, but were even less pleased when the Dunbar Stakes resulted in a walk-over for Mr Martin’s Triphthong. The Consolation Stakes only attracted two runners, while the day finished with a hurdle race. So ended Gullane races, although the racecourse has not been forgotten because the Gullane Golf Club, founded in 1882, retains its famous ‘Racecourse Hole’.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Earl of Wemyss, Lord Binning, Sir David Baird, Hon. F Charteris
Principal Races Gullane Steeplechase, East Lothian Stakes

Saturday 19th March 1859
Gullane Handicap Steeplechase over 3 ½ miles
1. Joe Malley, bay gelding owned by Mr Coxon
2. Little Bob, bay gelding owned by Mr Scott
3. Ingomar, grey gelding owned by Mr Charleton

The final meeting took place on Thursday 19th March 1868.
Course today Initially on Gullane sand links.
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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