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Earliest Meeting: Monday 17th July 1833 (although informal races were staged in the 18th century)
Final Meeting: Monday 17th July 1833
The Norfolk village of Holkham lies in the North-West of Norfolk and benefits from the proximity to the stately home of Holksham Hall and to a very attractive beach called Holkam Gap. The beach was the stage of informal races which were probably held as a regular feature in the late 18th century, although a more widely published meeting took place on Monday 17th July 1833. Full details of the meeting are shown below courtesy of the Norfolk Chronicle of Saturday 20th July 1833. Unusually the meeting opened with heats of the Holkam 10 Sovereigns Hunters Race before the tide came in, and after a meal and speeches the races continued once the tide had gone out.

This racecourse is not covered in 4 volumes of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. However, ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons William and Lady Ann Coke, Mr Skoyles, Mr T T Wiseman
Principal Races Holkam 10 Sovereigns Hunters Race, Holkam Pony Race

Holkam 10 Sovereigns Hunters Race over 1 ½ miles
1. Small Hopes, a bay mare carrying 10 st owned by Mr Marsh and ridden by Mr Brett 1 1
2. Tristram, a bay horse carrying 10st owned by Mr Metcalf 2 2
3. Pink Fashion, a bay mare carrying 10 st owned by Mr Green 3 wdr

The tide retiring, the company again occupied the sands for the remainder of the card.
Hacknies Stakes for 6 Sovereigns over 1 ½ miles
1. Kitty 9st chestnut mare owned by Mr T Hudson 1 1
2. Rosetta 9st bay mare owned by Mr Goole 2 2
3. Gadfly 9st owned by Mr Wiseman 3 3
4. Lady Hill 9st bay mare owned by Mr B Oaks 4 wdr

Holkam Ponies Stakes for 3 Sovereigns
1. Copper-Bottom, bay pony owned by Mr Green of Upwell 1 1
2. Taffy, black pony owned by Mr Atmore 2 2
3. Gibletts, black pony owned by Mr Metcalf 3 wdr
4. Flyaway, bay pony owned by Mr Calver 4 wdr
5. Cornelle, grey pony owned by Mr Sayer 5 wdr
6. Kitty, black pony owned by Mr Dunn 6 wdr

Holkam 2 Sovereign Match
1. Copper-Bottom, bay pony owned by Mr Green
2. Cornelle, grey pony owned by Mr Sayer

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1903 map shown below.

The final meeting took place on Monday 17th July 1833
Course today

The beach remains as an attractive feature today, although no evidence of the 19th century races exists. However, unofficial races are sometimes held at Holkham each year during August?  This is when members of the Household Cavalry come to Norfolk for their summer break. Visitors can see this spectacle if they happen to be in Lady Anne Drive at Holkham around 10 a.m. some mornings during that period in August, the horses and riders turn up and ride or race along the beach.

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 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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