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Earliest meeting: April 1836
Final meeting: Wednesday 15th April 1903
The Lincolnshire market town of Horncastle lies 17 miles east of Lincoln and was known as Banovallum in Roman times. Throughout the latter half of the 19th century the town staged race meetings, the first of which took place in April 1836. Twenty years later a meeting took place on Thursday 12th April 1855 on a course three quarters of a mile from Horncastle, starting at Marcham-on-the-Hill and finishing at High Tointon. The 4 mile course was 2/3rds grassland and 1/3rd arable fields and contained 38 fences, some with double posts and rails, and a formidable brook. The opening 4 mile Sweepstake was won by Mr C Smith’s Baronet beating Cyclops and Trowsover. The South Wold Hunt Group first held races in April 1821, although they were a nomadic group and selected Horncastle as one of two courses to use in the latter part of the 19th century. The first meeting was staged on 16th April 1870 on a course at Low Toynton. The meeting on Thursday 28th March 1889 featured the Horncastle Open Steeplechase which went to Mr H D Fox’s Paradise, and later in the meeting the South Wold Hunt Chase was won by Mr F Nalder’s Banjo. The final South Wold Hunt meeting to take place at Horncastle was on Wednesday 15th April 1903 when the Spilsby Plate was won by Mr Wilson’s Wisconsin II, while the South Wold Plate went to Mr Jackson’s Verdant Green.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Countess of Yarborough, Lord Heneape
Principal Races Horncastle Sweepstake, South Wold Hunt Steeplechase

Thursday 12th April 1855
Horncastle Sweepstake over 3 miles
1. Miss Bamburgh, bay mare owned by Mr Evison
2. Little Known, aged horse owned by Mr R Grantham
3. Erin go Bragh, bay horse owned by Mr Jones

The final meeting took place 0n Wednesday 15th April 1903.
Course today

A 4 mile course over grass and arable fields with 38 fences starting at Marcham and finishing at High Tointon, and later at Low Toynton.

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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  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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