LLANYMYNECH RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Monday 23rd September 1799
Final Flat meeting: Friday 28th October 1864
Final National Hunt Meeting: Saturday 4th May 1940
The Shropshire village of Llanymynech straddles the border with Powys in Wales and lies less than 10 miles north of the Welsh town of Welshpool. The name means ‘Church of the Monks’ and the village lies on the banks of the River Vyrnwy. The village was the site of one of the first mining areas in Wales, with both copper and bronze smelted here. Whilst it is known that racing took place in 1799, records indicate the meeting was held on ‘the old course’ implying earlier race meetings must have taken place in the village. The early record shows a two day meeting was held on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th September 1799 when the Silver Cup on day one went to Creeping Jenny, and on day two a second Silver Cup was won by Junior owned by Mr Duvaston. A second two day meeting was held in 1809, after which racing lapsed. However, a revival meeting was held on Friday 23rd October 1863 on fields owned by Mr Wall in nearby Treprennal. The meeting was instigated by Mr Melling who owned the Lion Hotel and had an original poster on his Inn wall from the 18th century races in the village. Over 6000 people attended the revival meeting and witnessed Dick Turpin win the Llanymynech Stakes for Mr Foulkes. Later in the day the Hurdle Stakes was won by Florida and the 3 mile steeplechase by Emily Harries. A second, and final Flat race meeting, was held on Friday 28th November 1864. In the late 19th century the village combined with Bangor to hold a meeting in April 1896 and throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century the village joined forces with Oswestry to stage National Hunt racing under the stewardship of the Tanatside Hunt Group. The first steeplechase meeting took place on Tuesday 13th April 1886 on a mile and a half course at Pentref Farm consisting of 5 fences, one being the water jump. Further steeplechase meetings took place on the same Farm course the next year and again in 1888, after which the farm owner withdrew his support. It was feared that racing would lapse, although a new course was located, ideally positioned just half a mile from Llanymynech Station at Llwyn-y-groes, holding its inaugural meeting on 17th April 1890. The meeting remained well supported for the next 10 years until a final card was staged in 1902. After the First World War had ended there was renewed enthusiasm for racing and the Tanatside Hunt Group were instrumental in ensuring racing returned to the Llwyn-y-groes course on Saturday 29th April 1922. The meetings were popular, with the Oswestry Challenge Cup the principal event. This feature race was captured by Dudley, owned by Lord Londesborough in 1925 at the prohibitive odds of 1/10. The next year there was yet another change of course when Lower House Farm became the venue. Such was its popularity that the venue not only hosted the well-attended spring meeting but also arranged a second meeting in October. Racing continued on an annual basis until the final card was staged on Saturday 4th May 1940, supported by a crowd of 5146. The racecourse was voluntarily liquidated in September 1943.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Wall (course owner), Mr Mellings (Lion Hotel)
Principal Races

Llanymynech Silver Cup, Llanymynech Steeplechase

Monday 23rd September 1799
Llanymynech Silver Cup
1. Creeping Jenny, brown mare owned by Mr Lee
2. Junior, bay mare owned by Mr Duvaston
3. Venus, brown mare owned by Mr Baugh

The final recorded Flat meeting took place on Friday 28th October 1864, whilst steeplechases meetings finished on Sat urday 4th May 1940.

Course today In fields at Treprennal owned by Mr Wall.
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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