Aintree racecourse;Ascot;Ayr;Bangor;Bath;Beverley;Brighton;Carlisle;Cartmel;Catterick;Cheltenham Festival;Chepstow;Chester;Doncaster St Leger;Epsom Derby;Exeter racecourse;Fakenham;Folkestone;Fontwell Park;Glorious Goodwood;Hamilton Park;Haydock Park;Hereford Racecourse;Hexham;Huntingdon;Kelso;Kempton Park;Leicester;Lingfield;Ludlow;Market Rasen;Musselburgh;Newbury Racecourse;Newcastle;Newmarket;Newton Abbot;Nottingham;Perth;Plumpton;Pontefract Racecourse;Redcar;Ripon;Salisbury;Sandown Park;Sedgefield;Southwell;Stratford;Taunton;Thirsk;Towcester;Uttoxeter;Warwick;Wetherby;Wincanton;Windsor;Wolverhampton;Worcester;Yarmouth;York Ebor

Earliest meeting: Tuesday 10th July 1781
Final meeting: Tuesday 7th May 1940
The county Longford town of Longford, on the banks of the River Camlin, was originally called Longphort and boasts a long history. Its nearby visitors centre houses an Iron Age oak bog road which is thought to have been built in 148BC. In 1400 a Dominican Priory was founded in the town, and four centuries later the town staged its first race meeting. A five day meeting was held from Tuesday 10th to Saturday 14th July 1781, opening with a race restricted to four year olds over two miles which was won by Mr Hamilton’s Madam Star. The same owner captured the five year old Purse over three miles the next day with Harmony. There were Ordinaries after racing each day, with a Ball on Tuesday and Thursday evening, and the week concluded with a Consolation race on Saturday 14th July. Meetings continued on a regular basis and in October 1829 the town celebrated the achievements of the King’s Dragoon Guards with two meetings in quick succession. On Thursday 1st October a series of matches were held on the Corboy course, beginning with a 50 Guineas Match won by Mr H Thompson’s High Sheriff and a 50 Guineas Sweepstake won by Lieutenant Tyssen with Minos. Such was the success of the meeting that a three day meeting from Wednesday 14th to Friday 16th October was staged on the same Corboy course. The principal race on the final day was the King’s Dragoon Officers Purse which saw High Sheriff defeat Bob Gore and Majesty. Meetings were always popular, well supported and well managed, with the management often at the forefront of innovation. In the early 20th century, when racing was administered by the Longford Race Committee, provincial meetings were going through a torrid time. It was perceived that the Irish Turf Club was showing favouritism towards meetings in Dublin and provincial meetings like Longford began to suffer financially. One of its chairmen Mr T P O’Reilly fought constantly to improve the financial footing of the Race Committee, including campaigning for a reduction in the Entertainment Tax, an increase in the courses profits from the Tote, and a more equitable share of fixtures. Initially in 1926 the Turf Club did not assign Longford any meetings, but things began to improve when the Entertainment Tax was withdrawn and Tote takings began to offer courses some respite. Longford were innovative in reducing admission charges in 1928 in a bid to increase attendance. However, crowds declined again leading up to the Second World War and the final meeting took place on Tuesday 7th May 1940.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr T P O’Reilly, Mr Meleady
Principal Races Longford Cup, Midlands County Plate, Longford Handicap

Wednesday 11th July 1781
Longford 50 Guineas Five Year Old Purse over 3 miles
1. Harmony, bay mare owned by Mr Hamilton
2. Intruder, bay horse owned by Mr D Daly
3. Pincher, chestnut horse owned by Mr Shadwell

Wednesday 24th May 1899

The Midlands County Plate over a mile
1. Little Phyllis owned by Mr Meleady
2. Wandering Lady owned by Mr P S Duigenan
3. Collooney owned by Mr A Sim

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 7th May 1940.
Course today On the Corboy course.
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.
Download an order form
  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    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com