KNIGHTON RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Friday 14th August 1801
Final meeting: Wednesday 19th April 1882
The village of Knighton, traditionally in the old Welsh county of Radnorshire, today straddles the Welsh-English border with part of the town in Shropshire. It first opened for racing in 1801 and for the next 80 years offered a programme of sport on its two racecourses. The inaugural two day meeting was staged on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th August 1801 when the Sweepstakes was won by Mr Lord’s Jenny Spinner, while on the second day Tamerlane captured the Maiden Plate sponsored by the Earl of Oxford.The racecourse to the west of Knighton, at White Anthony, was an oval of barely a mile circumference, ascending at the start but gradually falling until approaching the last half mile onto a 3 furlong run-in. Meetings remained at this course until 1812 after which there was a lapse in racing in the town. Racing was then revived on a figure of eight course which was first used in 1820. Much later results from the two day meeting on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st June 1837 were included in the Sporting Magazine, with the Radnorshire Stakes going to Mr Walmsley’s Catamaran, while the Town Subscription Purse was won by Mr J Harris’s Barclay. The final flat meeting was on Friday 7th April 1876, whilst National Hunt racing continued until Wednesday 19th April 1882.

This racecourse is covered in Volumes 1 and 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord C H Somerset, Earl of Oxford, Mr Day, Mr Patrick
Principal Races Knighton Sweepstake, Radnorshire Stakes, Whip Stakes, Knighton Subscription Stakes, Stanage Stakes

Tuesday 23rd & Wednesday 24th July 1805

Knighton Sweepstakes over 3 miles
1. Daisy owned by Lord C H Somerset
2. Gipsy owned by Mr Emden
3. Maid of the Moor owned by Mr Browne
Gipsy went off the favourite and won the first heat, but was subsequently beaten in heats 2 and 3 by Daisy.

Knighton Subscription Stakes over 4 miles
1. Daisy owned by Lord C H Somerset
2. Brown Bess owned by Miss C Saunders
3. Gipsy owned by Mr Emden

1824

Knighton Maiden Plate over 2 and ¾ miles
1. Montecello owned by Mr C Day
2. Unnamed gelding by Lismahago owned by Mr A Jones
3. Titmouse owned by Mr Maddy

Knighton Sweepstake over 2 miles
1. Victorine owned by Mr C Day
2. Actress owned by Mr Patrick

Tuesday 23rd & Wednesday 24th June 1835

The Whip Stakes over a mile
1. The Miser owned by Mr Green
2. The Farmer’s Boy owned by Mr E Rogers
3. Eveline Berenger owned by Mr Morris

The Radnorshire Stakes over 2 miles
1. Snake owned by Mr Collett
2. Unnamed colt by Rossini owned by Mr Thornes
3. Mopsus owned by Mr B Davies

Tuesday 20th to Wednesday 21st June 1837

The Radnorshire Stakes over 2 miles
1. Catamaran owned by Mr Walmsley

The Stanage Stakes over once round and the long length
1. Latona owned by Mr T.Davies

The Knighton Town Subscription Purse over 1 ½ miles
1. Barclay owned by Mr J.Harris

John Cary (1754-1835) was an English cartographer who published his atlas, The New and Correct English Atlas, in 1787. In 1794 he was commissioned by the Postmaster General to survey all English roads. The map shown below is an extract from his 1794 work.

The final meeting on one course was on 7th April 1876, whilst the final meeting on the other took place on 19th April 1882.

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

Course today

A one mile course at White Anthony and a figure of eight course.

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:-

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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  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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