TENBURY RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 12th June 1792
Final meeting: Wednesday 30th September 1863
Tenbury Wells is a Worcestershire market town in the Malvern Hills district of the county which can trace its history back to the Iron Age. It was on an important coaching route, so it seemed a natural progression to hold races. It first staged races on Tuesday 12th June 1792 on a course at the Old Wood Common, a mile south of the town centre, and just two years later was attracting prominent owners. A case in point is the meeting on Wednesday 18th June 1794 when the feature Town Plate was fought out between Lord Donegal and Lord Stamford. Despite the support of the nobility and landed gentry the racing was sometimes of an inferior quality. Furthermore, the management made the awkward decision of staging some of the races in the morning, and completing the card in the evening. Races continued for over 70 years until a final flat meeting on Wednesday 30th September 1863 when the Town Plate was won by Mr T Parr’s Aslauga, the Selling Stakes by Mr E Edwards’s Trincomalee, and the West Worcestershire Stakes by Mr T Parr’s Blondin.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Donegal, Lord Stamford, Lord Anson, Sir T E Winnington
Principal Races Burford Steeplechase, Tenbury Town Plate

Wednesday 18th June 1794

Tenbury Maiden Plate over 4 miles
Virgin owned by Lord Donegal
Critic owned by Mr Darling
Tiger owned by Lord Stamford

Tuesday 8th July 1824

Tenbury Plate over 2 miles
1. Unnamed gelding by Master Richard owned by Mr Cato
2. Thirzina owned by Mr Ormsby Gore
3. Sal Volatile owned by Mr Griffiths

Tenbury 5 Guineas Sweepstakes over 3 miles
1. Sylvanus owned by Mr T Pickernell
2. Trooper owned by Mr Benbow

Tenbury 5 Sovereign Sweepstakes over 2 miles
1. Neuter owned by Mr L Charlton
2. Actress owned by Mr Patrick
3. Olivia owned by Mr Deverieux

James Whyte’s History of the British Turf notes that racing first took place at Tenbury on the River Teme, some 22 miles from Worcester, on a good course a mile South of the town, in 1792 and that racing usually consisted of a two day meeting in mid-June. Whyte records the June 1839 races as:-
West Worcestershire Members Plate;

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 30th September 1863.
Course today Just a mile south of the town centre at the Old Wood Common.
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:-

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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