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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 16th May 1837
Final meeting: Wednesday 23rd August 1865
The towns of Woodford and Loughton, parishes in Essex some 10 miles north-east of Charing Cross but now in the London Borough of Redbridge, held their first jointly organised race meeting on Whit Tuesday 16th May 1837 on Fair Mead Bottom. It is known that races did take place prior to this date, but were of a mixed inferior quality. It was a further 13 years before a meeting was staged on Tuesday 1st October 1850 at a course on Buckhurst Hill. In the Woodford Stakes Martingale beat Premier and Jesse, while the Loughton Cup went to Perfumer. Races were well received and continued for the next 15 years. At the meeting on Tuesday 2nd September 1856 the crowd size was boosted by the opening of the new Stratford to Loughton rail line. Things were going so well in 1865 that the race committee decided to extend to a 2 day meeting on Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd August 1865. This proved to have a prejudicial effect, leading to small fields, indifferent contests, a walk over and disillusioned crowds. The Ladies Plate was won by Annington for Mr Reid, while the Hurdle race went to Betsy Copeland defeating Wicket. However, Wednesday 23rd August was the final days racing organised by the two villages.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr H Drew, Mr A Dixon, Mr R Hutchinson (Stewards), Mr P Barling, Mr Littler
Principal Races Loughton Cup, Woodford Stakes, Woodford Ladies Plate

Tuesday 28th August 1855

The Woodford & Loughton Stakes over 2 miles
1. Evening Star owned by Mr Barling
2. Firebrand owned by Mr Littler
3. Break o’ Day Boy owned by Mr G Darby

The Tally-Ho Stakes over 2 miles and 4 flights
1. Rob Roy owned by Mr Barling
2. Fenman owned by Mr Littler
3. Vestris owned by Mr John

Wednesday 23rd August 1865
Great Eastern Handicap over 1 ¼ miles
1. Betsy Copeland, 5 year old owned by Mr Bridger
2. Freestone, 6 year old owned by Mr T Barker

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 23rd August 1865.
Course today Initially on Fair Mead Bottom and then moved to Buckhurst Hill.
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    
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