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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 18th March 1873
Final meeting: Tuesday 18th March 1879

The Pytchley Hunt Steeplechases were run at Hopping Hill, in the parish of Maidwell, in the years from 1873 to 1879. The first meeting took place in 1873, followed by further meetings in each of the years 1875 through to March 1879. One particularly impressive meeting, which was arranged for the departure of the Empress of Austria, took place in 1878 when HRH The Prince of Wales was in attendance, along with the Duchess of Teck and the Empress. The Empress had initiated the Hohenembs Cup at Easton Neston in 1876 and it was contested at Hopping Hill on Tuesday 19th February 1878 when won by Piccadilly owned by Captain Middleton. He had a particularly good meeting as he also landed the Pythchley Hunt Cup with Zoave.  The final meeting under rules took place on Tuesday 18th March 1879, although there was an attempt to encourage the Empress of Austria to return to her holiday residence at Cottesbrooke Hall in February 1884 for a revival meeting. Racing, in the form of point-to-point meetings, did continue at the racecourse until well into the 20th century.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons HRH Prince of Wales, Empress of Austria, Earl Spencer, Captain Middleton
Principal Races Hohenembs Cup, Kelmarsh Challenge Cup, Cottesbrooke Cup, Pytchley Junt Cup
19th February 1878

Kelmarsh Challenge Cup worth £150 over 3 miles
Only 3 ran

Tuesday 19th February 1878
Hohenembs Gold Cup over 3 miles
1. Piccadilly, grey gelding owned by Captain Middleton
2. John Bull, bay gelding owned by Captain Soames
3. Boniface, bay gelding owned by Mr Konow
Betting: 6/4 Leitrim, 3/1 John Bull, 3/1 Piccadilly, 6/1 Boniface

The Cottesbrooke Cup worth £80 with a further £100 added over 3 miles

The Pytchley Hunt Cup worth £50 over 3 miles
1. Zouave owned by Captain Middleton

Pytchley Hunt Selling Stakes of £2 per entry with £30 added over 2 miles
1. Columbine owned by Mr Manning

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 18th March 1879.

Course today At Hopping Hill between Cottesbrooke and Lamport Station.
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    
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