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Earliest meeting: April 1729
Final meeting: Thursday 20th April 1826
The Bedfordshire village of Woburn, 5 miles south east of Milton Keynes, is best known for Woburn Abbey, founded by Cistercian monks in 1145. The ‘County History of Bedfordshire’ recorded that a meeting was held at ‘Woobourn’ in 1729, when it staged one of the earliest Selling Races held in England.  The main race on that early card was a 20 Guineas Selling Race with the winner being offered for 40 Guineas if demanded, while the other race was a 30 Guineas Plate with the condition that if only one horse entered then his owner had to pay 10 Guineas to the prize money for next year’s Plate. Given that the conditions for neither of these races was particularly appealing, it is not surprising that no more races were held in Woburn until 1739, and even then it was only a 10 Guineas Match. Almost a century later the Sporting Magazine of 1826 recorded the two day Woburn Hunt meeting held on the Woburn Estate in April in Bedfordshire. On Wednesday 19th April 1826 the Woburn Hunters Stakes was won by Mr Owenson’s Rambler, while the Woburn 4 year old Stakes went to Captain Wyndham’s Tender. The final days racing took place on Thursday 20th April 1826 when the Woburn Handicap Plate was won by Mr Brownlow’s Musician.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
The Sporting Magazine of 1826 records the two day Woburn Hunt meeting held on the Woburn Estate in April in Bedfordshire.
Local Patrons Captain Wyndham
Principal Races Woburn Hunters Stakes, Handicap Plate

Wednesday 19th April 1826

Woburn Four Year Old Stakes over 2 miles
1. Tender owned by Captain Wyndham

Woburn Hunters Stakes over 2 miles
1. Rambler owned by Mr Owenson
2. Sylph owned by Mr Barnet
3. Fidget owned by Mr Goodison

Thursday 20th April 1826

Woburn Handicap Plate
1. Musician owned by Mr Brownlow

The final meeting took place on Thursday 20th April 1826.
Course today On the Woburn Estate.
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.
Download an order form
  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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