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Earliest meeting: Thursday 6th October 1726
Final meeting: Wednesday 27th October 1762.
The earliest recorded meeting in the Yorkshire town of Bedale was on Thursday 6th October 1726 on the racecourse situated on what is the present Bedale Cricket Ground. The feature race, the Bedale Chase, saw Mr Johnstone’s chestnut colt defeat entries by Lord Gower and Mr Shaw. Baily’s Racing Register first included the racing results from Bedale two years later when the meeting was held on the first Thursday after Michaelmas in September. The final meeting took place on Tuesday 26th October 1762, although minor meetings were revived in October 1876, and repeated again on Thursday 4th October 1877. However, neither event was under racing rules, but led to later, more regular point to point meetings being organised.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Duke of Bolton, Duke of Cleveland, Lord Gower
Principal Races Bedale Chase, Gentlemen’s Subscription Purse
Thursday 6th October 1726
The Bedale Chase B16
1. Unnamed chestnut colt owned by Mr Johnstone
2. Unnamed chestnut colt owned by Lord Gower and ridden by Hutton
3. Unnamed chestnut colt owned by Mr Shaw
An amazing field of 17 started and the majority fell.

Thursday 30th September 1728

Bedale 30 Guineas Plate
1. Moor-Hen owned by The Duke of Bolton
2. Unnamed Grey colt owned by Mr Gallant

Up to 1731 it was the norm for horses to be at least 5 before racing, indeed King’s Plate horses had to be at least 6 years old. There were rare instances, for example at Black Hambleton in 1727, when races for 4 year olds were staged, but at Bedale on 1st October 1731 a race for 3 year olds carrying 8 stone was held over a single 3 mile race in which 9 faced the starter.

Tuesday 26th to Wednesday 27th October 1762

Bedale 2 mile Purse
1. Nancy Dawson owned by Mr Crowther
2. Hopewell owned by Mr Pearson
3. Molly Be Steady owned by Miss Betty Pearson

Bedale 2 mile Weight for Age Handicap
1. Twigg owned by Mr Cornforth
2. Newland owned by Mr Jollife
3. Ganymede owned by Mr Scroope

Wednesday 14th October 1761
Bedale 4-year-old £50 Stakes over 2 miles

1. SYBILLA grey filly owned by Mr James Bland
2. BRISK brown gelding owned by Mr Merrington
3. BOLTON chestnut colt owned by Mr Norris
4. CREMONA bay filly owned by Lady Northumberland
5. SPINSTER grey filly owned by Hon. John Smith Barry
6. STELLA bay filly owned by Mr Thomas Stapleton
7. HIGHLAND LADDY bay colt owned by Mr Matthew Smith
8. YOUNG SURLY brown colt owned by Mr Wilson
Thursday 15th October 1761
Bedale 5-year-old and above £50 Stakes over 4 miles

1. CAMILLA bay mare owned by Mr Coatesworth
2. FAIR FORESTER chestnut mare owned by Mr Robert Williams
3. SOGG bay horse owned by Sir Bellingham Graham
4. VALIANT chestnut mare owned by Mr Ralph Smith
5. CUPID brown horse owned by Mr Robinson
6. CADUCIUS bay horse owned by Mr Redshaw

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 27th October 1762.

Course today On what is now Bedale Cricket Ground.
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

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

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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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