Aintree racecourse;Ascot;Ayr;Bangor;Bath;Beverley;Brighton;Carlisle;Cartmel;Catterick;Cheltenham Festival;Chepstow;Chester;Doncaster St Leger;Epsom Derby;Exeter racecourse;Fakenham;Folkestone;Fontwell Park;Glorious Goodwood;Hamilton Park;Haydock Park;Hereford Racecourse;Hexham;Huntingdon;Kelso;Kempton Park;Leicester;Lingfield;Ludlow;Market Rasen;Musselburgh;Newbury Racecourse;Newcastle;Newmarket;Newton Abbot;Nottingham;Perth;Plumpton;Pontefract Racecourse;Redcar;Ripon;Salisbury;Sandown Park;Sedgefield;Southwell;Stratford;Taunton;Thirsk;Towcester;Uttoxeter;Warwick;Wetherby;Wincanton;Windsor;Wolverhampton;Worcester;Yarmouth;York Ebor

Earliest meeting: Monday 2nd August 1813
Final meeting: August 1815
Early records indicate that a meeting was held at the Scottish town of Duns in Berwickshire, with entries made at The Black Bull Inn and an Ordinary served to 58 gentlemen after races at the same venue.  Duns was often referred to as the ‘Melton of the north’ in reference to the large number of hunts held in the vicinity of the town, especially those hunts connected to Lord Elcho and his hounds. That initial meeting took place on the outskirts of the town at Knockhill on Monday 2nd August 1813 when Mr Sligh, from Oldcastle, won the 20 Guineas Purse beating a field of five. The race proved to be keenly fought, with Mr Hood’s grey mare and Major Logan’s bay mare taking the minor honours. On the same card the Hunting Saddle and Bridle saw Mr Cunningham’s chestnut mare defeat Mr Hunter’s bay mare, while a 3 Guineas Saddle Race went to Mr Cosser’s brown horse after two heats. Just a year later a second meeting took place on Friday 29th July 1814 when the closing Hunting Saddle and Bridle race was also won by Mr Sligh with Catch’em, getting the better of horses owned by Mr Mack, Mr Aitcheson and Mr Ker.  The final time results were widely reported in newspapers was from the meeting in August 1815 when the feature race, the Duns 20 Guineas Purse run in heats, was won by Mr Cosser’s Favourite, beating Shag, Charlie and Creeping Kate. It proved to be a good meeting for Mr Cosser who also took the Hunting Saddle and Bridle with Robin Adair. The population of Duns is less than 3,000 inhabitants but the Black Bull Inn continues to serve the locals. Racing also took place at Harcase Farm, near Duns, from 1861 to 5th April 1862 when the Berwickshire Hunt organised the meetings.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.

Racing also took place at Harcase Farm and from 1861 to 5th April 1862 Berwickshire Hunt ran the races at Duns.

Local Patrons Major Logan, Mr James Hay, Mr William Molle (Stewards)
Principal Races Duns Hunting Saddle & Bridle, Duns 20 Guineas Purse

Monday 2nd August 1813

Duns 20 Guineas Purse
1. Unnamed mare owned by Mr Slight
2. Unnamed grey mare owned by Mr Hood
3. Unnamed bay mare owned by Major Logan
The winning owner lived at Oldcastle, whilst the second came from Pathhead.

Duns Hunting Saddle & Bridle
1. Unnamed chestnut mare owned by Mr Cunningham
2. Unnamed bay mare owned by Mr Hunter
3. Unnamed grey mare owned by Mr Mack

Friday 29th July 1814

Duns 20 Guineas Purse
1. Hocuspocus owned by Mr Hope
2. Unnamed grey mare owned by Mr Hood
3. Competitor owned by Mr Weatherly

Duns Hunting Saddle & Bridle
1. Catch’em owned by Mr Sligh
2. Unnamed grey horse owned by Mr Mack
3. Unnamed bay horse owned by Mr Aitcheson

The final meeting took place in August 1815.
Course today

In fields at Knockhill on the edge of the town. Whilst no evidence of the racecourse exists today, the Black Bull Inn is an excellent Inn to still visit.

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.
Download an order form
  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    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to