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Earliest meeting: Thursday 16th March 1865
Final meeting: Monday 9th April 1877
The Nottinghamshire market town of Retford, located 30 miles from Nottingham and 23 miles from Lincoln, was the setting of race meetings organised by the Sandbeck Hunt. The inaugural meeting took place on Thursday 16th March 1865 at Charborough, near East Retford, when the feature Sandbeck Hunt Steeplechase was won by Mr Wilkinson’s Auburn Hill. The next year the meeting was held on Monday 2nd April 1866 on the Bollan Lane course and was so popular that future meetings took place for each of the next 11 years. At the meeting on Monday 1st April 1867 the opening Nottinghamshire Hunt Steeplechase was won by Mr Potter’s Slasher who beat Harbinger and 5 others.  The feature Retford United Hunt Chase saw Doctor beat Franciscan for owner Mr G Sutthery, while the Sandbeck Farmers’ Stakes went to Thomas James owned by Mr V H Hannan. The final meeting, staged on Monday 9th April 1877, consisted of a 5 race card, with Mr MacVicar winning three of the 5 races.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Berkeley Paget, Lord Meigund, Sir H Bacon
Principal Races Retford United Hunt Steeplechase, Nottinghamshire Hunt Steeplechase

Monday 1st April 1867
Retford United Hunt Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Doctor, aged horse owned by Mr G Sutthery
2. Franciscan, 5 year old owned by Mr J Clarke
3. Knightsbridge, 4 year old owned by Mr J W Axe
Betting: Evens Wicket, 2/1 Doctor, 2/1 Franciscan, 6/1 Knightsbridge

The final meeting took place on Monday 9th April 1877 and consisted of a 5 race card, with Mr MacVicar winning three of the 5 races.

Course today At Bollan Lane in Retford.
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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