Badges through the decades

Brief History


Ascot Racecourse is founded. It was Queen Anne who first saw the potential of a racecourse for Ascot, which in those days was known at East Cote. It was while she was out riding from Windsor Castle that she saw the ground which she felt would make a good racecourse. The first race meeting ever held at Ascot took place on Saturday, August 11, 1711. Her Majesty’s Plate, worth 100 guineas was the inaugural event, open to any horse, mare or gelding over the age of six. Each horse was required to carry a weight of 12st and seven runners took part.


Queen Anne dies on 1st August and the meeting is postponed, and later abandoned for the year. The new racecourse starts to struggle to bring in the crowds.


The great Eclipse, then a 5 year old, wins a Nobleman’s Plate.


First occasion in which reference is made to the term ‘Royal Enclosure’. A temporary stand was established during the Royal Meeting. Entrance to this exclusive area was strictly by invitation only from King George III himself.


Prince of Wales wins a race at Ascot, the Oatlands Stakes, with his horse Baronet. Over 40000 are present at the course to witness the victory.


The first running of the Ascot Gold Cup over 2 1/2 miles.


The Royal procession takes place at the meeting for the first time, starting from Windsor Castle.


Parliament passed an Act of Enclosure. This act ensured that Ascot Heath, although property of the crown, would be kept and used as a racecourse for the public in the future. The inaugural running of the Wokingham Stakes, and the Duke of York’s Pointers is triumphant.


Queen’s Vase is run for the first time, with the winner taking home a vase donated by Queen Victoria.


The inaugural running of the Royal Hunt Cup is won by Knight of the Thistle, owned by Lord Chesterfield.

1845 -1853

The Gold Cup is renamed the Emperor’s Plate in honour of Czar Nicholas I of Russia. It came as no surprise that the name reverted to the Gold Cup when the Crimean War took place.


The French horse, Gladiateur, wins the Ascot Gold Cup by 40 lengths.


The Rous Memorial Stakes is run for the first time.


The Windsor Castle Stakes and the Hardwicke Stakes are run for the first time.


St Simon wins the Gold Cup.


Persimmon, son of St Simon, wins the Gold Cup the year after being triumphant in the Derby and the St Leger.

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Ascot Authority, which still manages the racecourse today, came in to being in this year, created by an Act of Parliament. Also in this year a male supporter of the suffragettes tried to follow Emily Davidson’s lead by bringing down a horse called Tracery. Fortunately it did not have the same tragic outcome as when Anmer was brought down in the Derby.


Brown Jack, ridden by Steve Donoghue, won the Queen Alexandra and went on to repeat the victory in each of the next 4 years.

Pre 1945

The only racing to take place at Ascot, up to this point, was the four day Royal Meeting.


New straight mile course opened.


Tragedy strikes Ascot when jockey Manny Mercer is thrown from Priddy Fair and dies.


Tattersalls Stand is opened at a cost in excess of 1 million.


The Royal Enclosure is built.


First jump meeting held in April of this year, with the turf for the track coming from Hurst Park.


Probably the greatest race ever seen at Ascot, sees Grundy and Bustino have a fantastic struggle before Grundy finally triumphs.

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Ascot aut 1977.JPG (18454 bytes)

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Ascot 2000 members.JPG (15234 bytes)