OSTEND RACECOURSE

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The Wellington Racecourse is to be found on the coast of Belgium at Ostend, a city with a population approaching 100,000. The track was built in 1883 and gained its name from the First Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley. The season traditionally begins in May and lasts until September. The track caters not only for thoroughbred racing, but also for harness racing enthusiasts. Its principal race is the Grand Prix Prince Rose which is contested each July.

Local Patrons Arthur Wellesley
Principal Races Grand Prix Prince Rose (formerly Grand Internation D'Ostend)

The photo below shows the grandstand in 1890.

A 20th century Ostend badge

A very rare Ostend Member's badge from 1903

First run in 1898, the Grand Prix Prince Rose was formerly known as the Grand International d'Ostend. It was contested annually each July on Belgian National Day and in 1931 was won by its most famous winner Prince Rose. The race was run for the final time in 1988.

The painting above is by Bob Demuyser (1920 - 2003) who gave permission for it to be shown in the public domain. It is of Prince Rose, by Rose Prince out of Indolence, who contested 20 races, winning 16 of them.

I am very grateful to Allan Hailstone for the photographs of the racecourse which he took on a flight from Southend to Ostend on 25th July 1960. The stand shown below can clearly be seen in the aerial shot.

The picture postcard below is a recent image of the racecourse

Course today The meeting continues to run successfully today.
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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