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Earliest meeting: Friday 15th March 1839
Final meeting: Friday 7th April 1843
The tiny Huntingdonshire village of Bythorn was deemed to be sufficiently important for its first steeplechase meeting, held on Friday 15th March 1839, to be included in the Sporting Magazine. The demanding 4 mile course with 22 fences was laid out on land owned by Mr T George and included crossing the Bythorn Brook twice. There were also ‘very stiff bullfinch fences’ and a ‘fancy hedge fence’. The meeting was well supported by the local Fitzwilliam Hunt and in 1842 benefitted from a decision by Cambridge Dons who vetoed students attending Cambridge races only for them to choose this meeting instead. The races came to an end with the meeting on Friday 7th April 1843.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Fitzwilliam Hunt, Captain Daintree, Mr T George, Mr Jones
Principal Races Bythorn Chase, University Steeplechase, Farmers’ Steeplechase

Friday 15th March 1839

Bythorn Chase
1. Go-Bye owned by Mr Jones
2. Screwdriver
3. Mantrap

Bythorn Farmers Stakes
1. Unique owned by Mr T George

Friday 8th April 1842
Farmers’ Steeplechase over 4 miles
1. Lycurgus, bay gelding owned by Mr W Jenkin
2. Selim, chestnut gelding owned by Mr T Worsop
3. Treaty, chestnut gelding owned by Mr H Bird

The final meeting took place on Friday 7th April 1843.
Course today A demanding figure of eight course on land owned by Mr T George about 5 miles from Thrapston.
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

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing 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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  Quantity Cost
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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