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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 1st September 1819
Final meeting: Thursday 6th March 1862
The Hertfordshire town of Stevenage, 30 miles from London, is located close to the old Roman Road running from Verulamium to Baldock, and in more modern times was designated the first ‘new town’ in August 1946. It first held races in 1819 when a two day meeting, billed as Stevenage Mount Races, took place on Bulmarsh Downs on Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd September 1819. The opening Stevenage Plate was won by Mr Lovell’s Forth, beating Captain Keen’s Tumbler. A Sweepstake followed which went to Mr Rogers’s Grecian who got the better of Charlotte. It was to be 43 years before racing was recorded in the town again. The Hertfordshire Hunt based their race meetings around Hitchin and staged their inaugural card on Thursday 14th March 1861 in the nearby village of Buntingford. The next year the Hunt switched their attention to Stevenage and organised a meeting in 1862. The event was staged on Thursday 6th March 1862 on a course on the edge town which stretched across a number of fields, half grass and half ploughed, with 30 fences including a brook about 12 feet wide. The meeting opened with a Hunters’ Stakes which saw Mr Jenkins’ Express beat Gisors and Forester, while the United Hunt Stakes was won by Mr H Smyth’s Gibraltar.  Meetings followed in later years at Pirton, Letchworth and Hitchin, continuing under rules for a further 17 years until a final card was staged on Friday 22nd March 1878. Even after this date meetings were organised well into the start of the 20th century, but were popular point-to-point meetings by then.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Dacre, Lord Royston, Earl of Strathmore
Principal Races United Hunt Steeplechase, Hertfordshire Open Steeplechase

Thursday 6th March 1862
Yeomanry and Volunteer Stakes over 3 miles
1. Antelope, aged horse owned by Mr C Clapham
2. Lady Julia, 4 year old owned by Mr J Smyth
3. Zelia, aged mare owned by Mr Overill

The final meeting took place on Thursday 6th March 1862.
Course today Across fields on the edge of town, half of them grass and half ploughed, with 30 fences and a 12 foot wide brook.
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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