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Earliest meeting: Monday 9th May 1853
Final meeting: Wednesday 9th May 1877
The villages of Holtye, Hartfield, Hammerwood and Colemans Hatch all lie in East Sussex on the northern edge of Ashdown Forest. In the latter part of the 19th century the village of Holtye held its own race meetings on Holtye Common for a number of years. There is evidence of racing taking place before 1853, but meetings had certainly lapsed until the re-launch meeting on Monday 9th May 1853. At that first meeting the opening Saddle and Bridle race saw Mr Holland take the saddle and Mr Histed the bridle and whip. Races continued annually, always on 9th May and often in conjunction with the annual Fair. The meetings became Holtye Subscription meetings in the later 1850s. The final meeting under rules took place on Wednesday 9th May 1877. After the National Hunt Racing Committee introduced new rules regarding enclosed courses a number of meetings became point to point events, and Holtye races continued right up to the end of the century, choosing new courses in 1886 and again in 1896.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 2 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr J Cross & Mr A Glover (Stewards)
Principal Races Holtye Stakes, Cowden Stakes, Tunbridge Wells Stakes

Monday 10th May 1867
Tunbridge Wells Stakes over 2 miles
1. Brilliant, chestnut gelding owned by Mr C Pryor
2. Belladrum, bay gelding owned by Mr Semark
3. Silvertail, bay mare owned by Mr G Payne

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 9th May 1877.
Course today Initially on Holtye Common and then at a number of courses in the vicinity of the village.
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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Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
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