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Earliest meeting: Monday 2nd May 1870
Final meeting: Tuesday 31st March 1874
The Leicestershire village of Swinford lies in the Harborough district of the county and can trace its history back to Anglo-Saxon times when it was known as Suin Heaford. In the latter part of the 1800s it held its own series of race meetings, the first of which took place on Monday 2nd May 1870. The course was in fields owned by Mr T Gilbert between Swinford and Shadwell and the two best races, the Swinford Hurdle and the Swinford Cup, were won by The Spy and Kettering respectively. For such a small village the meeting was a success, and subsequent meetings were held annually for the next 4 years. The meeting on Monday 28th April 1873 was run by the local Hunt Group and opened with a Hack race over 1 ½ miles and 6 flights of hurdles. It went to Mr W Johnson’s Gorgonzola beating Little Fanny and Grip. The Swinford Hurdle was won by Cruickshank at 2/1 on favourite for Mr Harborough. A year later the final card was staged on Tuesday 31st March 1874.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord A Paget, Captain Holyoake
Principal Races Ashby St Leger, Swinford Cup, Swinford Hurdle

Monday 28th April 1873
Ashby St Leger over 2 miles and 8 flights
1. Rambling Kate, bay mare owned by Mr T H Cowley
2. Lucy, 5 year old owned by Mr J Hill
3. Counsellor, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Ridley
Betting: 6/4 Winchester, 3/1 Lucy, 4/1 Rambling Kate, 4/1 Counsellor

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 31st March 1874.
Course today On fields owned by Mr T Gilbert between Swinford and Shadwell.
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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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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