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Earliest meeting: Monday 22nd April 1889
Final meeting: Friday 12th April 1907
The Suffolk town of Woodbridge is located just 8 miles north east of Ipswich, occupying a prominent position between Ipswich and Norwich. At the heart of the town is the Bull Hotel, which was a staging post when stage coaches had their day, but then found it had sufficient grounds to stable a large number of horses when hunting played a big part in rural life. In the latter part of the 1800s that love of hunting extended to include steeplechasing, with the inaugural meeting organised by the Woodbridge Hunt on Easter Monday 22nd April 1889. The course was a right handed track of a mile with a run-in of 2 furlongs on Home Farm, owned by Captain E G Pretyman, in the tiny village of Hasketon, barely two miles from Woodbridge. Meetings continued to be organised annually by the Woodbridge Hunt Committee each April, with the card embracing both hurdles and steeplechases. All of the meetings, despite being just a single day each year, were popular and well supported until the final meeting took place on Friday 12th April 1907.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Duke of Hamilton, Captain E G Pretyman, Rt Hon. Lord Rendlesham
Principal Races

Orwell Park Hurdle, Hasketon Home Farm Chase

Friday 21st April 1893
Woodbridge Plate over 2 miles and 8 flights
1. Pilotell, 5 year old owned by Mr W H MacKenzie
2. Ganfalon, aged horse owned by Mr A Poole
3. Lymington, 6 year old owned by Mr Francis Cobb
4. Promoter, aged horse owned by the Duke of Hamilton

The final meeting took place on Friday 12th April 1907.

Course today

Although racing under rules ceased in 1907, the Hasketon course was used for point to point races for the next 62 years before the Woodbridge Hunt moved to Higham.

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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