Plumpton Racecourse History
Plumpton 1899e.JPG (28632 bytes)

In 1876 Plumpton began as an enclosed coursing event on 28th December, although meetings were not well attended. However, coursing continued to be the prime sport until 1884, although there was fierce competition from other coursing tracks opening up around the country, notably Haydock Park and Newcastle, causing the management to review their options. The answer they arrived at was to lay on wider entertainment and the first horse racing chase meeting took place on Monday 11th February 1884, with the Harry Escott ridden Cowslip, starting at 7/2, winning the inaugural Hunters Selling Plate by a distance. The Bristol Mercury, amongst many others, reported on the early meetings, including the card staged on Saturday 12th October 1889 which featured the October Handicap Hurdle which attracted a large field, allowing the winner, Redeemer, to go off at 10/1. By 1895 the course was becoming widely accepted and increased its meetings to six. In April 1901 the annual Southdown Hunt races, later associated with Lewes racecourse, were held at Plumpton for the first time and continued to be staged there until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, although no meeting took place in 1913. Plumpton Racecourse Limited was formed in April 1902 and the course erected its first grandstand in 1904, albeit transferred from Northampton racecourse. A remarkable event took place at the racecourse in February 1905 when Sea Log and Wild Gander ran a dead heat in the Goring Selling Hurdle. What made this remarkable was that Wild Gander returned to the course in April to contest the Uckfield Selling Hurdle and dead heated for a second time, but this time with Cripplegate. The Queen Mother enjoyed her first winner at the course when Super Fox was triumphant in the hands of Clive Chapman on Wednesday 15th April 1963. Over the next 25 years a number of new facilities were opened; the Regency stand in 1967; Tatterstalls and the Silver ring amalgamated in 1973; Sir Ian Trethowan opened the Southdown Stand in 1987. Currently the course hosts 16 fixtures annually, the highlights of its racing year being the Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs (3 miles 4 furlongs and 105 yards) in early January, and the Sussex Champion Hurdle over 1 mile 7 furlongs and 195 yards in early April.
Monday 11th February 1884
Hunters’ Selling Hurdle of 40 sovereigns
Over 2 miles and 8 flights of hurdles

1. Cowslip 11st 10lbs owned by Mr S Savage and ridden by H Escott
2. Hurdy Gurdy 11st 7lbs owned by Mr E Woodland and ridden by Mr J Goodwin
3. Ben Bolt 12st 3lbs owned by Mt T Mantell and ridden by J Page
4. Lowland Lass 12st 3lbs owned by Mr F Johnson and ridden by Mr F Jacobs
5. Patchwork 11st 10lbs owned by Mr B Elphick and ridden by H Pearce
2/1 Hurdy Gurdy, 5/2 Ben Bolt, 7/2 Cowslip, 7/1 Patchwork, 10/1 Lowland Lass
Saturday 12th October 1889
Plumpton October Handicap Hurdle

1. Redeemer, aged horse owned by Mr A Nichols
2. Torquay, 4 year old owned by Mr D Thirlwell
3. Antrim, 3 year old owned by Mr Atkinson

 

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Plumpton continues to thrive today, whereas nearby Eastbourne closed its gates for the final time in 1875.

Although the first time the Sporting Magazine reported racing in the Sussex town of Eastbourne was on Monday 17th December 1839, there are earlier records which suggest racing was taking place well over a 100 years before this date. The ‘County History of Sussex’ recorded that ‘East Bourn’ had a meeting in 1729 at which Plates of £10 and £25 were contested. In 1737 the old Eastbourne meeting was held on Bullock Down for the last time until 1839, when a temporary revival took place. From 1866 the Eastbourne Hunt Flat and Hurdle Races were held until 1875. The final meeting took place on Monday 10th May 1875, after which the Duke of Devonshire refused permission for his land to be used again for racing.

Plumpton 1904e.JPG (45076 bytes)

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I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.
Plumpton 1915p.JPG (21647 bytes) Plumpton 1919k.JPG (10431 bytes)
With grateful thanks to Nick and Jackie Redman for many of the badges and all of the photographs shown on this page.
Plumpton 1903.JPG (6080 bytes) Plumpton 1904a.JPG (6668 bytes) Plumpton 1911r.JPG (7790 bytes)
1903 Ladies 1904 Ladies 1905 Ladies 1910 Ladies 1911 Ladies
The scan opposite is of a rare 1906 Press Pass for Mr M Corbett who would have reported on the first 2 day meeting of the season held on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th January 1906.
Saturday 13th January 1906
Selling Handicap Hurdle over 2 ¼ mies

1. Sea Log (2/1 fav) owned by Mr Horatio Bottomley (L Jones)
Ringmer Handicap Steeplechase over 2 ¼ miles
1. Graziella (4/11 fav) owned by Mr H R Pape (Mr Bulteel)
Plumpton Handicap Hurdle over 2 miles
1. Arbraces (5/2 fav) owned by Mr Horatio Bottomley (Hare)
Worthing Selling Steeplechase over 2 ¼ miles
1. Mr Schomberg (5/2 fav) owned by Mr T Petitt (Mr Fitt)
Bostel Maiden Hurdle over 2 miles
1. Australasia (100/14) owned by Mr E Woodland (Rollason)
New Year's Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Shooting Star II (4/1) owned by Captain Middleton (Clancy)
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1925-26 Gents 1926-27 Ladies 1929-30 Ladies 1930-31 Ladies 1931-32 Ladies
Plumpton 1931k.JPG (19001 bytes) Saturday 3rd January 1931
Worthing Selling Handicap Chase over 2 miles

1. LARGIE (7/4 fav) owned by Mr Harris and ridden by E Vinall
Hurstpierpoint Selling Hurdle over 2 miles
1. GOLDEN GAUNTLET (2/1) owned by Mr Davis and ridden by A Escott
Brighton Handicap Chase over 2 miles
1. HOLIDAY HALL (4/9 fav) owned by Mr Harmsworth and ridden by Billy Stott
Streat Handicap Hurdle over 2 miles
1. ORMUZO (5/2) owned by Mr Beaumont and ridden by G Goswell
Plumpton Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. AMBERSWAVE (100/8) owned by Mrs Norman and ridden by A Robson
Chailey Maiden Hurdle over 2 miles
1. ELCHO (8/1) owned by Mr Gore and ridden by W O'Grady
1931-32 Gents 1932-33 Ladies
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1936-37 Ladies 1937-38 Ladies 1939-40 Gents 1946-47 Ladies 1946-47 Gents

 

1947-48 Gents

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1950-51 Gents 1950-51 Ladies 1951-52 Ladies 1951-52 Gents 1952-53 Gents
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1952-53 Ladies 1953-54 Ladies 1954-55 Ladies 1954-55 Gents 1955-56 Gents

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1956-57 Gents

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1956-57 Ladies 1957-58 Ladies 1957-58 Gents 1958-59 Gents 1958-59 Ladies
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1961-62 Ladies 1962-63 Gents 1962-63 Ladies 1963-64 Gents 1963-64 Ladies
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1964-65 Ladies 1964-65 Gents 1965-66 Gents 1965-66 Ladies 1966-67 Ladies

 

1966-67 Gents

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1967-68 Gents 1967-68 Ladies 1968-69 Ladies 1968-69 Ladies 1969-70 Ladies
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1969-70 Gents 1970-71 Gents 1970-71 Ladies 1971-72 Gents 1971-72 Ladies
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1972-73 Ladies 1972-73 Gents 1973-74 Gents 1973-74 Ladies 1974-75 Ladies

1974-75 Gents

 

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1975-76 Ladies 1975-76 Gents 1976-77 Gents 1977-78 Gents 1979 Gents
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1980 Gents 1981 Gents 1982 Gents 1983 Gents 1984 Gents
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1985 Gents 1986 Gents 1987 Gents 1988 Gents 1989 Gents

1990 Gents

 

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1991 Gents 1992 Gents 1993 Gents 1994 Gents 1995 Gents
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2001 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Sad Mad Bad
2002 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Mr Markham
2003 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Jeremy Spider
2004 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by French Executive
2005 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was not contested
2006 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Dunbrody Millar (6/1)
2007 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Pass Me By (8/1)
2008 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Ironside (25/1)
2009 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was not contested
2010 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Master Overseer (9/2)
2011 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Minella Boys (8/1)
2012 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Double Dizzy (8/1)
2013 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Well Refreshed (6/1) trained by Gary Moore and ridden by Josh Moore
2014 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Reblis (5/1) trained by Gary Moore and ridden by Josh Moore
2015 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Itoldyou (11/1) trained by Mrs L C Jewell and ridden by Tom Cannon
2016 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Tour Des Champs (11/2)
2017 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Morney Wing (12/1) trained by Charlie Mann and ridden by Paul Brennan
2018 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by Vinnie Lewis (7/2 fav) trained by Harry Whittington and ridden by Harry Bannister
2019 The Sussex National over 3 miles 5 furlongs was won by The Two Amigos (11/8 fav) trained by Nicky Martin and ridden by Matt Griffiths

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2002 Lady Member 2002 Gents Member 2003 Member 2004 Member 2005 Member
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2013 The Sussex Champion Hurdle over 1 mile 7 furlongs and 195 yards was won by Court Minstrel (3/1 jf) trained by Evan Williams and ridden by Paul Moloney
2014 The Sussex Champion Hurdle over 1 mile 7 furlongs and 195 yards was won by Fergall (7/1) trained by J W Mullins and ridden by W Kavanagh
2015 The Sussex Champion Hurdle over 1 mile 7 furlongs and 195 yards was won by Dormello Mo (4/1) trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies
2016 The Sussex Champion Hurdle over 1 mile 7 furlongs and 195 yards was won by Disputed (16/1) trained by C Gordon and ridden by Tom Cannon
2017 The Sussex Champion Hurdle over 1 mile 7 furlongs and 195 yards was won by Tommy Silver (100/30 fav)) trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Stan Sheppard
2018 The Sussex Champion Hurdle over 1 mile 7 furlongs and 195 yards was won by Vado Forte (4/1) trained by Tom Lacey and ridden by R T Dunne
2019 The Sussex Champion Hurdle over 1 mile 7 furlongs and 195 yards was won by Fiesole (10/1) trained by Olly Murphy and ridden by David England

Plumpton 2007p.JPG (30443 bytes)
2006 Gents 2007 Gents
Plumpton 2009KT.JPG (34404 bytes)
2008 Gents 2009 Gents
2010 Gents 2011 Member 2012 Member 2013 Member 2014 Member

Sunday 6th January 2019
Sussex National over 3 miles 4f 102yds

1. The Two Amigos (11/8 fav) trained by Nicky Martin and ridden by Matt Griffiths
2. Calin Du Brizais (14/1) trained by Nigel Hawke and ridden by Tom Cannon
3. Pearl Swan (9/1) trained by Peter Bowen and ridden by Sean Bowen

8 ran

Sunday 21st April 2019
Sussex Champion Hurdle over 1 mile 7f 195yds

1. Fiesole (10/1) trained by Olly Murphy and ridden by David England
2. Legal History (11/4) trained by David Pipe and ridden by Tom Scudamore
3. Leapaway (7/1) trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Richard Johnson
9 ran
2015 Member 2016 Member 2017 Member 2018 Gents 2018 Member
     
2019 Member 2020-21 Member      
The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

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

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