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Earliest meeting: Thursday 7th September 1710
Final meeting: Wednesday 16th July 1783
The earliest record of racing in the Rutland town of Uppingham was from the London Gazette 13th – 15th July 1710 which advertised a meeting to be held on ‘Uppingham Brand on the first Thursday in September 1710’. That early programme consisted of a 30 Guineas Plate, a 15 pounds Plate, and a Galloway Plate of 10 pounds. Twenty years later Baily’s Racing Register provided detailed results from a meeting held on Monday 31st July 1730 when Lord Portmore’s Fair Rosamond won the feature race. A local newspaper of the day stated that the first clerk of the course was Ambrose How who oversaw the meeting held from Wednesday 29th June to Friday 1st July 1737. However, that programme was not confined to thoroughbred racehorses and was not deemed to be sufficiently important to be included in a Racing Calendar. Indeed it was not until 1762 that Uppingham races entered the Racing Calendar for the first time. Given that the races spanned at least 53 years, it is likely more than one course was used. Some of the very earliest maps indicate an oval course situated on the grounds of the present Community College. However, later maps showed that the course relocated to parkland to the west of the town centre. At the 3 day meeting from 30th June to 2nd July 1762 the Uppingham Purse saw Mr Viver’s Yorkshire Jenny defeat his more fancied rival, Oulston owned by the Duke of Kingston, while on the final day the Hon. William Howe’s Peggy had to settle for third place in the Uppingham Stakes behind Bumper. The final meeting took place on Wednesday 16th July 1783.

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

Duke of Ancaster, Lord Portmore, Lord William Manners, Duke of Kingston, Lord Albemarl Bertie, Sir H Harpur

Principal Races Uppingham Stakes, Uppingham Purse

Monday 31st July 1730

Uppingham 35 Guineas Selling Plate
1. Fair Rosamond owned by Lord Portmore
2. Whitenose owned by Mr Heneage
3. Whitestockings owned by The Duke of Ancaster

30th June to 2nd July 1762

Uppingham 2 mile Purse
1. Yorkshire Jenny owned by Mr Viver
2. Oulston owned by the Duke of Kingston
3. Chalberry owned by Mr Burborough

Uppingham 2 mile Stakes
1. Bumper owned by Mr Adams
2. Aristotle owned by Mr Bladon
3. Peggy owned by Honorable William Howe

Wednesday 24th July 1782

Uppingham 4 mile Purse
1. Unnamed colt owned by Mr Watson
2. Arbutus owned by Mr Eastgate
3. Firetail owned by Mr Hubbard

John Cary (1754-1835) was an English cartographer who published his atlas, The New and Correct English Atlas, in 1787. In 1794 he was commissioned by the Postmaster General to survey all English roads. The map shown below is an extract from his 1794 work.

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 16th July 1783.
Course today

The course that was to the South of the town could well have been on the land that is now part of Uppingham Community College. The later course, to the West of the town, is unlikely to have been near to Uppingham School which opened in 1584, but is more likely to now be covered by housing. Any more detailed information would be welcomed.

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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