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Earliest meeting: Thursday 31st March 1859
Final meeting: Thursday 31st March 1859
The Atherstone Hunt was established in 1815 in Witherley, but it was to be a further 44 years before the 3 Hunt committees of Northamptonshire, Leicester and Atherstone got together to promote a race meeting in 1859. That meeting took place on Thursday 31st March 1859 on a course close to Market Harborough. The starting and finishing point was at the foot of Farndon Windmill Hill and included 2 brooks, one of which was formidable in the extreme. Excursion trains, some with 40 carriages, swelled the crowd which witnessed George Stokes’ Lady’s Maid win the opening Farmers’ Stakes. The later Hunt Stakes went to Sir George Wombwell’s The Baron. Although that joint meeting was a one-off, Atherstone Hunt continues to organise point to point meetings today, although they now take place at Clifton-upon-Dunsmore.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Sir George Wombwell, Mr George Stokes
Principal Races Hunt Stakes, Farmers’ Stakes, Open Stakes

Thursday 31st March 1859
Open Stakes over 2 miles
1. Zouave, chestnut gelding owned by Captain Hunt
2. Bonny Bell, chestnut mare owned by Mr Smith
3. Gazelle, black mare owned by Mr Smith

The only recorded meeting jointly organised by three neighbouring Hunts took place on Thursday 31st March 1859.

Course today Close to Market Harborough, starting and finishing at Farndon Windmill Hill.
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.
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    
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