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Earliest meeting: Thursday 14th April 1859
Final meeting: Tuesday 1st May 1866
Although the village of Houston in Renfrewshire held a meeting at Gryffraes Farm under its own name in 1848, a more popular meeting took place some 11 years later when racing was administered by the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire committee. The first meeting of this kind was held in 1859, with meetings continuing to be successful for each of the next 7 years. The meeting on Thursday 14th April 1859 opened with the 20 Sovereigns Steeplechase Cup which was won by Mr J Houldsworth’s Frenzy from Skylark, while the more valuable 30 Sovereigns Cup went to Rathrobin. At the meeting on Friday 25th April 1862 the Houston Cup and Open Race were both secured by Mr J Houldsworth, the former with Seaman and the latter with Apricot. The final meeting was held on Tuesday 1st May 1866, after which a petition was sent to Captain Spiers from clergymen and resident church elders deprecating the continuance of steeplechasing. This proved effective and in 1867 the Houston races merged with the Eglinton Hunt.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Spiers, Mr J Houldsworth
Principal Races Houston Cup, Lanarkshire Steeplechase Cup

Thursday 14th April 1859
Lanarkshire Steeplechase 30 Sovereigns Cup
1. Rathrobin, bay gelding owned by Mr C T Couper
2. Skylark, grey gelding owned by Mr C Higginbotham
3. Cahirmee, bay gelding owned by Mr S Calder

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 1st May 1866.
Course today At Gryffraes Farm in Houston.
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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