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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 14th October 1851
Final meeting: Tuesday 22nd August 1854
The civil parish of Ongar, in the Epping Forest district of Essex, once held races from 1851 until 1854. The word Ongar means grass land and the parish includes Chipping Ongar, Greensted and Greensted Green. The turf course, set in pastures close to the church on Home Farm owned by Mr Cooper, began on Tuesday 14th October 1851. The main event, the Town Plate, was won by Voltigeur. Meetings were held annually for the next 3 years until a final meeting was organised by Colonel Hay on Tuesday 22nd August 1854. The crowd were entertained throughout the day by the East India Company Band as well as competitive racing.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Colonel Hay, Mr Cooper

Principal Races Ongar Town Plate, Ongar Exhibition Purse

Tuesday 14th October 1851
Ongar Town Plate over 1 mile
1. Voltigeur, black horse owned by Mr Smith
2. Nicolo, bay horse owned by Mr Horner
3. Honesty, aged horse owned by Mr Munning

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 22nd August 1854.
Course today Near to the church on Home Farm.
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

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 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    
Postage & Packaging    
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