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Earliest meeting: Saturday 30th March 1861
Final meeting: Thursday 26th August 1886
The Cheshire village of Hartford lies just 2 miles south west of Northwich and was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book. Back in the 10th century its Manor was held by Gilbert de Venables and by the time of the reign of Edward III it was held by the appropriately named Hartford family. It is a small village with a tiny population, but despite this it did hold its own races in the mid-1800s. Whilst minor meetings took place before 1861, the first meeting of note was staged on Saturday 30th March 1861 when the chief Steward was Captain White. The course was much improved on earlier years, with an additional half mile of enclosures to ensure that every part of the course was visible. The course had to be traversed twice to complete a 4 mile race, crossing 24 fences and a water jump which was 16 feet wide. The Cheshire Hunt Cup was won by Mr Wakefield’s Maid of Arley, while the Hartford Stakes went to Mr Minor’s Astley. The concluding Open Selling Chase was also won by Mr Minor with Toadealer. The next record of a meeting was on 15th April 1863, while further meetings were noted on Thursday 19th August 1869, when the Port Meadow Stakes was won by Lord of Valley, and a final card on Thursday 26th August 1886.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Earl of Shrewsbury, Captain White, Lord Grosvenor

Principal Races Cheshire Hunt Cup, Hartford Stakes, Port Meadow Stakes

Saturday 30th March 1861
Cheshire Hunt Cup over 3 miles
1. Maid of Arley, bay mare owned by Mr Wakefield
2. Polly, grey mare owned by Mr Burgess
3. The Plover, bay mare owned by Mr Murray

The only recorded meeting took place on Thursday 26th August 1886.

Course today Near Port Meadow on a 2 mile course complete with 24 fences, including a water jump 16 feet wide.
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.
Download an order form
  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    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com