HETHERSETT RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Friday 23rd March 1888
Final meeting: Thursday 4th May 1939
The Norfolk village of Hethersett is located two miles south west of Norwich and first staged racing in the latter part of the 19th century. The inaugural meeting was held on Friday 23rd March 1888 when organised by the Hussars. The locally based 19th and 20th Hussars Regiment enjoyed racing and the meetings continued throughout their time in the area.  The course was situated approximately 2 miles from Norwich, close to the village of Hethersett and Hethersett Station. Racing returned to Hethersett in 1904 when the Norwich Hunt took over administrative duties. These meetings continued for ten years until the outbreak of World War I. In 1927 the 120 acres on which the course stood were sold by Mr Ketteringham to Mr R J Read, whose aim was to run the meetings as ‘Hethersett races’. He met his target the next year when the first meeting to be organised by the Hethersett race committee was staged on Thursday 8th March 1928. Meetings continued to be well supported by the locals, and races were always competitive, often with large fields. The final meeting under rules took place on Thursday 4th May 1939, after which the War intervened. However, once the war was over racing did not make an immediate return, the course eventually being used by the Norwich Staghounds for point to point races between 1953 and 1963, and meetings ceasing in 1970.

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

The first meeting to be organised by the Hethersett race committee was on 8th March 1928.

Local Patrons

Hussars Regiment, Colonel Vincent, R J Read

Principal Races

Subalterns’ Challenge Cup, Staghunters Chase, Intwood Handicap Chase, Norwich Chase

Friday 23rd March 1888
19th Hussars Regimental Challenge Cup over 2 ½ miles
1. Recluse, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Swan
2. Tony, bay gelding owned by Mr Craven
3. The Chief, black gelding owned by Colonel Combe
Betting: Evens Tony, 6/4 Recluse, 3/1 The Chief

The final meeting took place on Thursday 4th May 1939

Course today

The old course is no longer visible and is covered by a number of fields.

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.
ORDER FORM
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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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Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com