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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 20th May 1885
Final meeting: Saturday 25th May 1912
The small Devon town of South Brent lies in the valley of the River Avon and once had its own racecourse in the latter part of the 1800s. The town is served by the busy A38 and in the late 19th century it had its own railway station on the Plymouth to Exeter line. Meetings known as ‘South Brent, Devon and Cornwall Hunt Steeplechases’ were staged annually in the 1880s, with the meeting on Wednesday 20th May 1885 taking place a mile from Brent Station on the Avonwick Road.  That meeting opened with the Avon Vale Maiden Chase which was won by Mr H C Collier’s Boiler, while the Dartmouth Hunt Sweepstake went to Cahirmee for Mr J H Deacon. However, the two top races on the card were the South Brent Open Steeplechase, which was won by Mr Ashmead’s Topsy, and the Open Hunt Cup which went to Mr T Frost’s Busybody. The inaugural meeting billed as ‘South Brent Hunt’ was held on Tuesday 4th June 1889 when a 6 race card was offered.  The course was located at Horsebrook Farm, just 2 miles south east of South Brent, and was administered by the Devon and Cornwall Hunt Committees. By 1893 the meeting had moved from Horsebrook Farm to Palstone Farm on a course a mile long, with the additional challenge of crossing the busy A38 for some of the longer steeplechases. The meeting time also moved from mid-May to mid-June and on Tuesday 13th June 1905 South Brent marked the end of the National Hunt season. The final meeting took place on Saturday 25th May 1912; small crowds and its isolated location being two key reasons why the meeting did not even survive until the outbreak of War.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Admiral Parker, Mr W Coryton, Mr L R Netherton
Principal Races

Brent Handicap Hurdle, South Devon Hurdle, Dartmoor Chase

Wednesday 20th May 1885
Open Hunt Cup over 3 miles
1. Busybody, chestnut mare owned by Mr T Frost
2. Bessie, bay mare owned by Mr J S Neill
3. Silver Star, bay mare owned by Mr John Sargent
4. Morning Star, bay mare owned by Mr John Sargent
Betting: Evens Morning Star, 2/1 Bessie, 3/1 Busybody, 6/1 Silver Star

Course today Initially at Horsebrook farm and later at Palstone 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.
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  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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