Worcester Racecourse History
Worcester doctor BL.JPG (33726 bytes)

The first evidence of racing in the vicinity of Worcester was on Friday 20th June 1718 when three 2 mile heats were contested at Pitchcroft meadow (shown on the map below), with the winner being offered for sale at £7. Six years later, on Tuesday 25th August 1724 the 80 Guineas Contribution Purse was won by Lord Herbert, while the Worcester £20 Town Plate went to Mr Creswell’s horse. Exactly 15 years later, Cato carried 11st to victory on Wednesday 22nd August 1739, winning the princely sum of 40 guineas for owner Mr Middleton. In 1754 a three day meeting was staged, which extended to four days in 1755. The Hereford Journal reported on the 3 day meeting from Tuesday 3rd to Thursday 5th August 1790. The meeting opened with a 50 Sovereign Maiden Purse in which Mr William’s Benedict defeated Brown Charlotte owned by William Herrick. The result of the main race at the meeting is show below. Prestigious races like the Worcester Gold Cup and Worcester Stakes were included on the card in 1823, while by 1837 National Hunt racing took place over a course consisting of 29 jumps of various sorts. An interesting figure of eight course was used for the first time in 1880, but its artificial fences did not please everyone and were abandoned at the turn of the century. The final flat race was held on Saturday 20th August 1966, and a new grandstand was opened on Wednesday 26th March 1975. Currently the course stages 20 fixtures annually.
Thursday 5th August 1790
Worcester 50 Sovereigns All Age Purse

1. Florizel, 6 year old bay colt owned by Lord Stamford
2. Sweetbriar, aged bay gelding owned by Mr Povall
3. Young Hephestion, bay gelding owned by Mr Lyne
4. Morwick Ball, 6 year old chestnut horse owned by Mr Lambourn

Worcester 1975.JPG (5944 bytes)
Worcester 1976pq.JPG (25968 bytes) Worcester 1977x.JPG (42268 bytes)
Worcester continues to thrive today, whereas nearby Pershore closed its gates for the final time in 1939.
Worcester 1978m.JPG (15606 bytes)

The Worcestershire market town of Pershore’s first race meeting took place on the edge of the town on Tuesday 26th October 1847, principally involving the Pershore Stakes which was run in 4 heats. The mile and a half race was won by Amazement, owned by Mr Wood, beating Augustus and Monsieur Perrot, and was due to be sold for 100 sovereigns after winning. The course was less than a mile from the town centre, close to Pershore Railway Station, surrounded by beautiful Worcestershire countryside. Despite its obvious success, no further flat race meetings were staged in the town, and racing did not return until the very last year of the century. On Thursday 27th April 1899 the inaugural National Hunt meeting was staged on Weir Meadow, close to Defford, and it proved to be a good day for Mr Herbert Sidney who won all four steeplechases. Meetings continued to be held each April, with an additional meeting in October after 1900. Racing ceased during the War, returning in 1920, although the quality of races and the attendance were both on the decline. The Weir Meadow course staged its final two day meeting on Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th May 1934 and there was no May meeting the next year. A new course, close to the railway station, opened with a two day meeting on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th October 1935, with hopes and expectations high. The course was superior to the old one, which had flooded all too frequently, and the stands and other facilities were significantly better. The final meeting took place on Monday 1st May 1939 after which the army took over the course. Once the war was over racing never returned to Pershore, the land owned by Lord Coventry was sold and later used for commercial purposes.

Saturday 5th May 1923
Land O’Plums Steeplechase over 2 miles
1. Buggy, 5 year old owned by Mr Bromley
2. Blue Anchor, 5 year old owned by Mr Hyde
3. Sherston, 8 year old owned by Mr Sanday
Betting: 4/7 Sherston, 7/1 Irish Idol, 7/1 Buggy, 8/1 Blue Anchor

Worcester 1979x.JPG (32056 bytes)
Worcester 1980.JPG (11630 bytes)
I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.
Worcester 1981a.JPG (12803 bytes) Worcester 1982a.JPG (12061 bytes)
Worcester 1999ss.JPG (33988 bytes) Worcester 2000pq.JPG (35643 bytes)
Worcester 1983.JPG (11270 bytes) Worcester 1984c.JPG (26327 bytes) worcester 1987d.JPG (16795 bytes) Worcester 1988.JPG (12181 bytes) Worcester 1989.JPG (13543 bytes)
Worcester 1990.JPG (11633 bytes) Worcester 1992.JPG (9235 bytes) Worcester 1993.JPG (10324 bytes) WORCESTER 1997.JPG (12431 bytes) Worcester 1996.JPG (20545 bytes)
Worcester 1998pq.JPG (29192 bytes) Worcester 1998z.JPG (12431 bytes) Worcester 2001.JPG (10226 bytes) Worcester 2002z.JPG (26840 bytes) Worcester 2003.JPG (16414 bytes)
Worcester 2004.JPG (18948 bytes) worcester 2006r.JPG (41547 bytes) worcester 2007r.JPG (39562 bytes)
     
This delightful, well kept course was visited on Monday 13th August 2013. It is ideally situated close to the city centre, railway station, and is bordered by the River Severn.

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

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