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Earliest meeting: March 1760
Final meeting: Thursday 1st April 1909
Louth is a market town within the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire and is commonly known as the capital of the Lincolnshire Wolds, today boasting a population just short of 16,000. It is on the River Lud and its main claim to fame is that it lies on the Greenwich Meridian.  There is evidence of racing in Lincolnshire before 1760, as the Historical List of Races of 1760 reported that Plates previously run at Louth were discontinued. Moving forward over 70 years, the Sporting Magazine of 1833 reported that a meeting, organised by the South Wold Steeplechase committee, took place in the Lincolnshire town of Louth on Wednesday 11th September 1833 when the South Wold Town Plate was won by Mr Munro’s Lady Charlotte. The Louth racecourse was said to be particularly challenging and included Hallington Brook, every bit as challenging as the more illustrious Grand National fence Becher’s Brook. The first occasion that races were billed as Louth and South Wold Steeplechases was in 1838 when a meeting was held at Tathwell, on the outskirts of Louth. The demanding course contained 26 fences and 2 wide brooks. The link between Louth and South Wold continued for over 70 more years, although the South Wold Hunt was a very nomadic group, hosting races at Louth, Brackenborough, Hallington and Horncastle. The meeting on Friday 16th April 1869 was held on Stanmore Hill and was slated by newspapers as being a faint resemblance of former meetings. The United Hunt Chase was won by Mr J J Clarke’s Royal Vale beating Swinhope, while the Town Plate went to Mr R Walker’s Funny Man. The next year the meeting switched to Horncastle. In 1890 the Committee sought a change of venue from their two well-chosen courses and opted for a course just a mile from Louth in Brackenborough. The course had a circumference of a mile and a half and was left handed with a furlong and a half run in. South Wold Hunt steeplechases continued to be held at the ‘new’ Louth course, and alternating with nearby Horncastle, although the final meeting at Horncastle was staged on Wednesday 15th April 1903, while the last at Brackenborough took place on Thursday 13th April 1905. South Wold Hunt held its final meeting under rules on Thursday 1st April 1909.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lady Berner
Principal Races

South Wold Hunt Chase, Keddington Chase, Southwold Hunters Stakes

9th August 1757

Louth 4 year old Stakes over 2 miles
1. Infant, chestnut colt owned by Mr Trout
2. Modesty, grey filly owned by Mr Robinson
3. Bonny Black, black filly owned by Mr Moody
4. Gay, bay colt owned by Mr Allenby
5. Sportsman, chestnut colt owned by Mr Hardy
6. Little Witch, bay filly owned by Sir N Gresley
7. Sober Billy, grey gelding owned by Mr Rice

11th August 1757

Louth Lincolnshire Hunters Race
1. Diana, chestnut mare owned by Mr Allenby
2. Lottery, grey gelding owned by Mr Rice
3. Foxhunter, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Goodhand

Wednesday 11th September 1833

Southwold Town Plate over 2 miles
1. Lady Charlotte owned by Mr Munro
2. Unnamed colt by Oscar owned by Lady Berner

Southwold Hunters Stakes over 2 miles
1. Ploughboy owned by Mr Smith
2. Young Tristram owned by Mr Pierson
3. Atlas owned by Mr Blake

Thursday 10th March 1836

Louth Stakes
1. Bumpkin owned by Mr W Whiteworth
2. Heathen owned by Mr Nicholson
3. Madcap owned by Mr Grantham

The final meeting took place on Thursday 1st April 1909.
Course today

At a range of courses near Louth, including Tathwell, Hallington and Stanmore Hill.

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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