TADCASTER RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 23rd January 1838
Final meeting: Tuesday 24th January 1888
The Sporting Magazine of 1839 recorded that racing took place at the Yorkshire town of Tadcaster on Thursday 3rd January 1839 organised by the sportsman Beilby Thompson who lived at Escrick Hall. It was not the first meeting held at the Town Ings racecourse because the 1838 Silver Cup had been won by Transport, beating Conservative, on Tuesday 23rd January 1838, and both ran again at the 1839 meeting. The Town Ings racecourse was adjacent to the London Road and ‘Surgeon’s Field’. At the Tuesday 21st January 1840 meeting the Tadcaster Sweepstakes was won by Mr Lamplugh’s Prickbelt, but only after 4 of the entries arrived too late. Barred from running, they arranged their own meeting which was won by Lucerne after Prickbelt was one of those barred from contesting the race. The course on that day started at Mr Archbell’s stone quarry and ran along the Bramham Road for 1 ½ miles, turning onto the Leeds Road near Smaw’s Head and back three quarters of a mile into Tadcaster. The final results recorded in the Racing Calendar were from the meeting on Wednesday 20th April 1870, although it is known that a further meeting took place on Sunday 24th January 1886 when Little Jim, owned by the local vet James Scriven, won a match against an unnamed horse owned by a local landlord Sampson Wood. Little Jim later won the Silver Cup on Tuesday 24th January 1888 at the final races at Tadcaster.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Honorable Colonel Caradoc, Colonel Sir Maxwell Wallace, Sir G Cholmley, BeilbyThompson

Principal Races Tadcaster Silver Cup, Londesborough Cup, Brantingham Stakes

Thursday 3rd January 1839

Tadcaster 10 Sovereign Sweepstake
1. Transport owned by Mr Cooke
2. Conservative owned by Mr Sykes
3. Sir John owned by Mr Whitworth

Tadcaster Silver Cup
1. Prickbelt owned by Mr Lamplough and ridden by C Hopper
2. Conservative owned by Mr Sykes and ridden by Rounding

January 1840

Tadcaster Silver Cup
1. Prickbelt owned by Mr Lamplough
In this amazing race four of the entries did not turn up on time for the start and were barred from running. As a result of this incident the 4 arranged their own meeting.
The Wide-Awake Stakes
1. Chesterfield owned by Mr Beilby Thompson and ridden by J Wilson
2. Lucerne owned by Mr Fairbourn and ridden by Kidd

Tuesday 21st January 1840
Tadcaster Silver Cup over 3 miles
1. Lucerne, bay mare owned by Mr Fairburn
2. White Stockings, grey gelding owned by Mr Hughill
3. Rawdon, bay gelding owned by Mr Swire

Wednesday 8th April 1868

Tadcaster Londesborough Cup over 4 miles
1. Fugleman owned by Mr G Ringrose

Tadcaster Brantingham Stakes
1. Diana owned by Mr G Simpson

Sunday 3rd April 1870

Sunday 3rd April 1870
Did a meeting really take place on a Sunday?
Somerset Plate
1. Barrister owned by Sir G Cholmley
2. John Bright owned by Mr J Richardson

Londesborough Cup over 4 miles
1. Garryowen owned by Mr H Kilby
2. Isabel owned by Mr Kidd

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

The final record of racing recorded in the Racing Calendar was on Wednesday 20th April 1870, although it is known that further meetings took place on Sunday 24th January 1886 when Little Jim, owned by the local vet James Scriven, won a match against an unnamed horse owned by a local landlord Sampson Wood. Little Jim won the Silver Cup in 1888, the final races at Tadcaster.

Course today On the Ings adjacent to London Road and Surgeon’s Field.
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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