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Earliest meeting: Thursday 10th April 1856
Final meeting: Thursday 10th April 1856
Riccarton is a small village in East Ayrshire located across the River Irvine from Kilmarnock. On Thursday 10th April 1856 it was the site used to stage races billed as the West of Scotland steeplechase meeting. The West of Scotland race meetings were a nomadic group of meetings held for 15 years under rules, and a number of years after that date when pony and trotting races were also included on the card. The inaugural meeting was held at Kilmarnock on Tuesday 4th April 1851 when over 12,000 racegoers were present. Meetings were staged annually, most often at Kilmarnock, but on Thursday 10th April 1856 the meeting took place at Riccarton when Fanny Wynne won the Grand Caledonian, while the Kilmarnock Plate saw Louth, owned by Mr D Dunlop, beat Rattle-the-Hat and Defiance. The meeting on Thursday 22nd April 1858 was held at Houston, having been postponed at Kilmarnock, and the card consisted of two races and a match. For two years, May 1865 and on Thursday 24th May 1866, the meeting moved to a racecourse adjacent to the town of Paisley on fields owned by Mr Jasp and Mr Costello. The Trial Stakes and Flat race had identical results when Pam, for Mr J Napier, beat Privateer and Tilt. Races under the banner of ‘West of Scotland’ did continue after this date but the programmes were mixed.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Tait, Major Hamilton, Captain Hamilton
Principal Races Grand Caledonian Handicap Steeplechase, Kilmarnock Plate

Thursday 10th April 1856
Grand Caledonian Handicap Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Fanny Wynne, brown mare owned by Mr Hugh Craig
2. Louth, aged horse owned by Mr D Dunlop
3. Maley, chestnut mare owned by Mr Henderson

The final meeting took place on Thursday 10th April 1856.
Course today In fields on the edge of the village, across the water from the usual course at Kilmarnock.
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    
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