|GRASSLANDS DOWNS COURSE
Grateful thanks to Dave Wagg for the scan of the badge and providing detail for the article.
|Situated in Tennesse, Grassland Downs racecourse was at the centre of Fairview, a huge area of land of some 632 acres which was purchased in October 1929 by Caldwell, Houghland and Branham for $74,000. The course itself was modelled on the world famous Aintree racecourse in Liverpool, where the Grand National is held as probably the most famous steeplechase in the world. At Grasslands Downs a course containing 24 obstacles and extending over 4 1/2 miles was laid out.|
|The first meeting to take place on the course was on 19th May 1930, when a crowd in excess of 8000 turned up, with the first race being won by the Byron Hilliard owned Red Gold, who rode the winner himself. However, stormed clouds drifted over the course and by November 1931 the effects of the Stock market crash were being felt, with Caldwell going into receivership.|
|The principal race on the course was the International Gold Cup which was first held at the track in 1930. Its prize was a magnificent Gold Cup donated by the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII along with a first prize of $5,000. The race was held over a distance of 4 1/4 miles and in the inaugural running a field of 17 contested the race, of which only 3 were to finish.|
|By March 1932 the owners of Grasslands Downs had filed for receivership and Grasslands Downs was no more. The International race had to be moved to Rolling Rock in Pennsylvania, which had been developed by General Richard Mellon and the course was to last for a further 50 years before it also came to a sudden end.|
|If you have badges, racecards, pictures of the racecourse or further details about the course, including your memories, then email firstname.lastname@example.org|