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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 17th January 1844
Final meeting: Wednesday 16th April 1873
The Hertfordshire market town of Tring, in the Chiltern Hills, is barely 30 miles north west of London. It can trace its history back to prehistoric times and was recorded in the Domesday Book. It enjoys a prominent road link to London along the old Roman Road of Akeman Street. Given its prominent position it was able to host its own race meeting on Wednesday 17th January 1844 which was a splendid affair. The event was organised by Mr Brown, landlord of the Harcourt Arms, and he managed to secure the support of Baron M de Rothschild and Sir John Dashwood. The demanding 4 mile course started in a meadow owned by Mr Gurney, just a quarter of a mile from the town centre. It proceeded over a line of hills to Pond Close, owned by Mr Philby, and then crossed a brook before reaching a flag 100 yards from the Green Man Inn, in front of Rectory House. The course continued to the Wendover Canal, Gamnel Farm, over another farm bounded by the Grand Junction Canal, and on towards Penly Park. In total the course contained 37 fences, but despite the severity of the course the event attracted a field of sixteen which included Lottery, the first winner of the Grand National in 1839 who also contested the next 4 Grand Nationals. The chase was won by Mr B Land’s Needwood who got the better of Carlow and Boxkeeper. After the racing had ended a well-deserved dinner was served by Mr Brown at the Harcourt Arms. There are no further records of racing in Tring until the Berkhampstead Buck-Hounds Hunt Steeplechase was staged on the outskirts of the town on Wednesday 16th April 1873. The Hunt Cup was won by Wild Charley, from The Badger and Warnsford, while the Farmers’ Plate was won by Mr Brown’s Jack Sheppard.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Baron M de Rothschild, Sir John Dashwood, Mr William Metcalfe, Mr Brown
Principal Races Tring Steeplechase, Berkhampstead Hunt Cup, Tring Farmers’ Race

Wednesday 17th January 1844
Tring Steeplechase over 4 miles
1. Needwood, aged horse owned by Mr B Land
2. Carlow, aged horse owned by Mr Anderson
3. Boxkeeper, aged horse owned by Mr Barnett
4. Little Robert, aged horse owned by Mr Clarke
5. Lottery, aged horse owned by Mr Elmore
6. Ragman, aged horse owned by Mr Dixon

The final recorded meeting took place on Wednesday 16th April 1873.

Course today A demanding 4 mile course containing 37 fences.
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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