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Earliest meeting: Saturday 7th September 1822
Final meeting: Saturday 17th September 1825
Stapleton was a township in the Darrington parish of West Yorkshire located 3 miles south east of Pontefract. In the early part of the 19th century Stapleton Park was the estate of the Hon. E Petre, MP for the borough, and he set about creating a racecourse on his estate. It was an oval with an additional shute which meant there was a 1 ¼ mile track with an impressive half mile straight. The first meeting to be staged at Stapleton Park was on Saturday 7th September 1822, beginning with a 4 furlong match in which Mr Milne’s David beat Mr Fox’s Georgiana. The feature race was the Silver Cup which went to Mr Lambton’s Adam Blair, and the card then contained 8 additional races, most of them matches. Such was the success of the meeting that a further 3 day meeting was staged on the Park, starting on Tuesday 9th September 1823, when the opening Fitzwilliam Stakes was won by Mr Lambton’s Lorenzo. The principal race was the Gold Cup, with no less than 43 subscribers, which went to Collina owned by Mr Hopkinson. The card then ran a further 5 races on that day and the meeting extended to Wednesday (8 races) and Thursday (11 races). The 1824 meeting was run at Pontefract racecourse, as was the final two day meeting on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th September 1825. The Stapleton Park Stakes was won by Mr Lambton’s Pecunia who beat Mr Duncombe’s St Leger, and the Sweepstake went to Lord Wilton’s Mystic.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Hon. E Petre, Lord Wilton, Lord Normanby, Mr Lambton
Principal Races Stapleton Gold Cup, Stapleton Park Stakes

Tuesday 14th September to Wednesday 15th September 1824

Stapleton Park Gold Cup over 2 miles
1. Pecunia owned by Mr Lambton
2. St Leger owned by Mr T S Duncombe
3. Mirth owned by Mr Wyvill

Badsworth Hunt Stakes over 2 miles
1. Comet owned by Mr Petre walked over

Welter Stakes over a mile and a half
1. Pecunia owned by Mr Lambton
2. St Leger owned by Mr T Duncombe

The final Stapleton Park meeting was held on 11th September 1823, although two subsequent meetings organised by the Stapleton Park Race committee were held at Pontefract Racecourse.

Friday 16th September 1825
Stapleton Park Gold Cup
1. Newbrough, brown horse owned by Lord Normanby
2. Pearman, aged horse owned by Mr Lamb
3. Squirrel, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Mills

Course today An oval 1 ¼ mile course on Stapleton Park, although the meeting transferred to Pontefract racecourse for the final 2 years.
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:-

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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