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Earliest meeting: Monday 16th November 1868
Final meeting: Wednesday 15th December 1869
Hadley, in Shropshire, is now part of Telford about 3 miles from the town centre, but in the 19th century it was a village in its own right surrounded by glorious open countryside. Given its proximity to Albrighton, Wellington and Shifnal, it could call upon a large number of hunters, so it is not surprising that it held its own steeplechase meetings in the 1860s. The inaugural meeting was staged on a course in the grounds of the Cross Keys Inn owned by Mr Thomas Jones. The opening Apley Chase was won by Mr Downe’s Columbus, and he achieved the double by also landing the Hadley Steeplechase, beating Miss Bones. A year later the meeting was held on the same course on Wednesday 15th December 1869 when the Apley Open Chase over 1 ½ miles went to Mr Cook’s Maid of Orleans who beat Miss Bones and Theresa, but in the feature Hadley Chase Miss Bones gained her revenge. After racing a dinner was served at both the Cross Keys Inn and the King’s Arms Inn.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Thomas Jones, Mr Downes
Principal Races Hadley Steeplechase, Apley Steeplechase

Wednesday 15th December 1869
Hadley Steeplechase over 1 ½ miles
1. Miss Bones, aged horse owned by Mr Roden
2. Fanny, aged mare owned by Mr Bentley
3. Low Back Car, aged horse owned by Mr Williams

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 15th December 1869.
Course today In the grounds of the Cross Keys Inn owned by Mr Thomas Jones.
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    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
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