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Earliest meeting: Thursday 24th July 1856
Final meeting: Monday 9th September 1858
The Devon village of Exminster is on the southern edge of the City of Exeter, just 4 miles from the City centre. Exminster has a rich history and can trace its roots back to Saxon times when a Saxon Minster was built in the area. It was also the seat of the Courtenay family, with William Courtenay becoming Earl of Devon and also the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1381 to 1396. Despite being so close to Exeter, which to this day has a successful racecourse, Exminster held its own races, initially on Thursday 24th July 1856. Also on Monday 9th September 1858 a meeting was staged on the racecourse near to the railway station on the Exminster side of the rail. The South Devon Railway Company ran extra carriages and 3000 people attended the meeting. The Ladies Plate was won by Fair Penitent, while the Hurdle Race went to Mr Strong’s George. However, a disaster occurred when the grandstand, built by Mr Mortoa, gave way when almost full and a number of people sustained injury, including the farmer Mr Dadd who fractured his leg. This was the final meeting to take place under rules in Exminster. Pony race meetings did however continue well into the 20th century.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Balkwill, Mr Davidge, Mr Strong
Principal Races

Exminster Stakes, Exminster Hurdle, Exminster Ladies Plate

Monday 9th September 1858
Exminster Stakes over 1 ½ miles
1. Fly by Night, bay mare owned by Mr Balkwill
2. Moses, bay gelding owned by Mr Brown
3. Madame Laudau, black mare owned by Mr Davidge

The only recorded meeting took place on Monday 9th September 1858.

Course today Near the railway station on the Exminster side of the rail.
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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

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 johnwslusar@gmail.com 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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