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Earliest meeting: Saturday 30th April 1898
Final meeting: Wednesday 11th April 1906
The hamlet of Grindon, now subsumed into the city of Sunderland, had a racecourse on land owned by Colonel Vaux at nearby Hylton. The course, a right handed course of 1 ¼ miles in circumference with stiff fences made of gorse, was located approximately 100 yards to the west of the Grindon Mill pub on Chester Road. It is rumoured that the Colonel wished to see whether his course was sufficiently demanding and tested it by riding one of his own horses bareback. The earliest meeting was held on Saturday 30th April 1898 when the opening Lambton Hunt Chase saw Withern, owned by Captain W K Trotter, beat Little Ethel. Later in the day the Hyton Selling Hurdle went to Mr S J Bell. The races were organised by the Grindon Hunt Committee and throughout the years 1898 to 1902 the course hosted two meetings a year; the Spring meeting in April and the Autumn meeting each October. The second meeting took place on Saturday 15th October 1898 when it was given extra kudos by the Earl of Durham consenting to be a Steward. In preparing for this second meeting the members enclosure was enlarged, a grandstand erected and the water jump, which had been in the west end of the course, moved to be the last fence before entering the straight. One of the features of the April meetings was a Private Sweepstake instigated by Colonel Vaux which he won aboard Clover Leaf when it was first contested. Meetings were popular and well supported, continuing annually until a final meeting took place on Wednesday 11th April 1906.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Colonel E Vaux, Earl of Durham, Captain W K Trotter, Sir W Clayton, Captain N H Scott
Principal Races Grindon Private Sweepstakes, Lambton Hunt Steeplechase, Hylton Selling Hurdle

Saturday 30th April 1898

Lambton Hunt Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Withern owned by Captain W K Trotter and ridden by Captain N H Scott
2. Little Ethel owned by Mr Jack Hett and ridden by Bob Harper.

Hylton Selling Hurdle
1. Sepoy owned by Mr S J Bell and ridden by Jock Ferguson
2. Hylaeus owned and ridden by Jim Bell

Grindon Private Sweepstakes over 2 miles
1. Clover Leaf owned by Mr E Vaux
2. Bellenetti owned by Mr E A Wiener
3. Crosspatch owned by Sir W Clayton

I am grateful to Keith Nicholson for contributing an article from the Sunderland Gazette of 1898 which provides an insight into how the course changed after the first meeting, and an update on what has happened to the ground on which the former racecourse once stood, as shown below.

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 11th April 1906
Course today The racecourse was located approximately 100 yards to the west of the Grindon Mill pub on Chester Road on the outskirts of Sunderland, but it is now all under tarmac and a housing estate.
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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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
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Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
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