TARPORLEY RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 5th November 1776
Final meeting: Wednesday 26th April 1939
Tarporley Racecourse was situated in the County of Cheshire, first witnessing racing on Tuesday 5th November 1776. It was administered by the Tarporley Hunt Club which itself had been founded in 1762. The highlight of each card was the Tarporley Hunt Cup which went to the Earl of Stamford on Tuesday 5th November 1782 with his mare Diana. On the same card the Sweepstake was won by Sir Robert Cotton’s Merry Cupid. This early period of racing is known to have taken place at Crabtree Green, near Delamere, on land owned by George Wilbrahim and lasted until 1783. It was re-established 6 years later, with a Silver Cup race introduced in 1805. Almost exactly 39 years after the first meeting was staged the last took place at Crabtree Green in November 1815. The meeting transferred to Billington Training Ground for the two year period 1816 to 1817. Racing continued, on and off, at a number of venues in the area, notably Oulton, Cotebrook and Saighton Farm from 1875 to 1876. By 1877 the Tarporley Hunt Steeplechases were established on the Arderne Estate and continued to be well supported annually. In 1930 a tote was introduced at the course, and such was the appeal of the racecourse that in 1937 a grandstand was built. When a meeting took place on Wednesday 26th April 1939 little was it known that it would be the last to be held. The course was taken over by the MOD during World War 2, with a prisoner of war camp erected in the centre. The meeting was never re-established after the War and today the Old Tarporley Racecourse is open farmland.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Earl of Stamford, Sir Robert Cotton
Principal Races Tarporley Hunt Cup, Open Chase

Tuesday 5th November 1782

 Tarporley Hunt 10 Guineas Silver Cup over 4 miles
1. Diana owned by the Earl of Stamford
2. Ratan owned by Mr J L Brooke
3. Remus owned By Mr William Egerton

Tarporley Hunt 5 Guineas Sweepstake over 2 miles
1. Merry Cupid owned by Sir Robert Cotton
2. Remus owned by Mr William Egerton
3. Ratan owned by Mr J L Brooke

Course today

The Hunt staged races at a variety of venues, but Tarporley Racecourse was latterly on the Arderne Estate.

The front cover/ principal races from this rare racecard are provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

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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Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com