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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 26th March 1839
Final meeting: Friday 26th March 1841
The Essex village of Horndon-on-the-Hill, in the unitary authority of Thurrock, today has a population of less than 1600. However, back in the middle of the 19th century it organised a series of race meetings spread over a 3 year period. The first meeting took place on Tuesday 26th March 1839 on a course in the vicinity of Horndon which had numerous leaps, formidable fences and a pretty broad chasm on the other side of the fences. The 3 race card started with the Horndon Steeplechase which was won by Sam Slick for owner Mr Martham, beating Water Gruel and Mazeppa. A later Chase saw Patty beat Merriman. The next year the meeting was staged on Thursday 26th March 1840 when the opening Horndon 5 Sovereigns Sweepstake saw Barrister beat Bonnivard and Matilda. The more valuable Horndon Guineas Cup was won by Ringleader for Mr Pollett. After racing had ended, celebrations took place at the 15th Century Bell Inn which still exists and serves excellent meals to this day. The final record of a meeting at Horndon was on Friday 26th March 1841 when a Match was organised between Mr Robinson and Mr Byass. It was Mr Robinson’s Victoria who was victorious defeating sole rival Ringleader. After racing a dinner was served at the Swan Inn.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Langham, Mr Pollett
Principal Races Horndon Cup, Hirndon Sweepstakes

Thursday 26th March 1840

Horndon 5 Sovereigns Sweepstakes
1. Barrister owned by Mr Langham
2. Bonnivard owned by Mr Cassidy
3. Matilda owned by Mr W Wilson
The winner was ridden by T Mason

Hordon 25 Guineas Cup
1. Ringleader owned by Mr Pollett
2. Pioneer owned by Mr Hill
3. Patty owned by Mr S France
The winner was ridden by Byass

The final meeting took place on Friday 26th March 1841.
Course today A testing course in the vicinity of Horndon, with challenging leaps and broad chasms on the other side of fences.
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

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