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Earliest meeting: Thursday 25th September 1835
Final meeting: Thursday 22nd April 1847
Farningham is a village on the River Darent in the Sevenoaks district of Kent. In the middle of the 19th century it was small and rural but did hold its own race meetings for a number of years, beginning on Thursday 25th September 1835. The course was in fields behind the Hop-Pole Inn and for the next 5 years the meeting was entitled Farningham Hop-Pole Races. The opening Ladies Stakes was won by Brush, owned by Mr Kettle, although the principal event was the Lord Holmesdale sponsored Silver Cup. After racing, over 200 dined in a splendid marquee erected in the grounds of the Hop-Pole Inn. In 1844 a meeting was held on Thursday 18th April and billed as the Farningham and Dartford Steeplechases.  Mr John Castendieck was the Steward and the race took place on a 4 mile course containing 40 fences and 3 ‘jolly good brooks’. The race was won by The Prince owned by Mr Bryan who beat The Daring Ranger.  Racing continued for the next 3 years until a final meeting on Thursday 22nd April 1847.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Holmesdale, Lord Sydney, Sir W Geary, Sir P H Eyke
Principal Races Lord Holmesdale’ Silver Cup, Hack Stakes, Ladies Stakes

Thursday 25th September 1835
Lord Holmesdale’s Silver Cup
1. Countess, bay mare owned by Mr P Rickett
2. Lady Grey, grey mare owned by Mr Pankhurst
3. Sir Robert, chestnut gelding owned by Mr J Brooker

The final meeting took place on Thursday 22nd April 1847.

Course today In fields behind the Hop-Pole Inn.
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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