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Earliest meeting: Friday 13th August 1734
Final meeting: Monday 17th November 1851
The Leicestershire university town of Loughborough is within the Charnwood Borough of the county and first held racing in 1734 at Nether Meadow. The town dates back to the 1086 Domesday Book and is also famous for being the place where Robert Bakewell launched his agricultural revolution. He was born at Dishley Grange Farm and introduced new breeding techniques to Dairy Farming, as well as improving his grazing land by flooding it and making greater use of fertilizer. Baily’s Racing Register first provided detailed results from races held at Loughborough on Friday 13th August 1734, when the principal race was won by Mr Williamson’s Smallhopes. The course, situated between Loughborough and Stanford on Soar, continued to host racing until 1756. However, it is known that an alternative venue was used between the River Soar and Derby Road, when the Quorn and Donnington Hunt meetings were staged in the vicinity of the town. Although racing lapsed for a while, a meeting was held on Friday 5th April 1816 when the majority of the card was for ponies or half-breds, but the Five Barrow Hunt Stakes was won by Mr Burgess’s Normanton from Polly Puck and Robin Hood. Yet another lapse in racing occurred until Mr Henry Dougherty, landlord of the Cross Keys Inn, tried a further revival on Monday 17th November 1851 on a course in the Big Meadow. However, amongst the list of galloways, half-breds and ponies was the Hunters Stakes for thoroughbreds which went to Mr Hardy’s Kenilworth, who defeated Tim Bobbin and Rifleman. Whilst races did continue to be held in the town, the frequency of thoroughbred races diminished.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Duke of Ancaster, Sir M Newton
Principal Races Loughborough 25 Guineas Purse

Friday 13th August 1734

Loughborough 25 Guineas Purse
1. Smallhopes owned by Mr Williamson
2. Gentleman owned by The Duke of Ancaster
3. Brisk owned by Sir M Newton
4. Brocklesby owned by Mr Holbrook

The final meeting took place on Monday 17th November 1851.
Course today

At Nether Meadow.

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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