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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 10th March 1863
Final meeting: Thursday 9th March 1882
The North Yorkshire market town of Kirbymoorside is in Ryedale, some 25 miles North of York, and today has a population of just over 3,000. It sits amid glorious countryside which is ideal for racing and first staged races on Tuesday 10th March 1863. The racecourse had a natural viewing area on Vivers Hill close to the Railway Station. Racing continued to be held in March for the next 19 years, ably organised by George and William Frank and the Wright family. By 1868 the races were widely reported in the Racing Calendar and Sporting Magazine, receiving a further boost in 1874 when the Kirbymoorside to Pickering Railway line was opened on 1st January 1874. The final meeting took place on Thursday 9th March 1882 and saw the Prince of Wales Steeplechase won by Argentine from Dauntless. Races were resuscitated in 1899 although their organisation was outside the rules of racing.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Lord Feversham, Lord Hawke, Viscount Helmsley

Principal Races

Prince of Wales Open Steeplechase, Kirbymoorside Innkeepers Plate, Ryedale Hurdle Plate

Tuesday 10th March 1863

The Innkeepers Plate over a mile
1. Scampston owned by Mr J Scarth
2. Paddy owned by Mr J Adams
3. Shepherd’s Caller On ridden by Reynolds

Prince of Wales Open Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Mischief owned by Mr Barker
2. Wonderful Woman owned by Mr Hunter
3. Topsy owned by Mr Harrison

Kirbymoorside Members’ Steeplechase over 1 ½ miles
1. Paddy owned by Mr J Adams
2. Robin Gray owned by Mr Parker
3. Shepherd’s Caller On ridden by G.Smailes

Kirbymoorside Silver Cup Hunters’ Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Witch owned by Mr W F Stubbs
2. Fanny owned by Mr W Sonley
3. Laurie owned by Mr T Brown

Thursday 9th March 1882

Prince of Wales Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Argentine owned by Mr R Adams
2. Dauntless owned by Mr W Brown

Kirbymoorside Hunters’ Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Midnight owned by Mr Raimes
2. Aladdin owned by Mr Dalton
The winner was the 1/4 favourite and won by an easy 4 lengths

Ryedale Hurdle Plate over 2 miles
1. View Halloa owned by Mr R Adams
2. Queen O’Scots owned by Mr W Hope Johnstone
The winner was the 1/3 favourite and won by 3 lengths.

The final meeting took place on Thursday 9th March 1882, details of which are shown above.
Course today

On Vivers Hill close to the railway station. The open grassland which once housed the racecourse is still used for sporting purposes by the town Football Club and Cricket Club.

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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  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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