Sedgefield Racecourse History
Sedgefield 1937RE.JPG (32833 bytes)

The earliest report of racing in the vicinity of Sedgefield was in 1732, with a newspaper article advertising the races in 1733 shown below, but it was to be a further 80 years before Ralph Lambton, an ancestor of the Earl of Durham, formed a Hunt Club in 1804 which met at the Hardwicke Arms in Sedgefield. The first occasion that Lambton Park races took place was on Thursday 18th October 1821, continuing for the next five years before a final meeting on Tuesday 25th October 1825. Racing then lapsed in the area before the present day racecourse was laid out in 1846 on the Sands Hall Estate, home of the Ord family. The course was held in such high esteem at this time that it was called the ‘Melton of the North’ in the same way York today is referred to as the ‘Ascot of the North’. Although meetings ceased from 1915 due to the War, racing resumed in 1920, but it proved to be a sad year for the course because of the death of Richard Ord, owner of Sands Hall. Ultimately, in 1927 this led to the formation of the Racecourse Company which still runs the course today. The highlight of its racing year is the Durham National, currently contested each October over 3 ¾ miles, which has been won in the past by Aintree heroes Red Alligator and Rubstic. Results of the great race since 2000 are shown below. Currently the course hosts 20 fixtures annually.

Thursday 18th October 1821
Lambton Silver Cup over 2 miles
1. Unnamed filly by Ardrossan owned by Mr Hepworth
2. Rally, a bay mare owned by Mr Hudson
3. Waterloo, a bay horse owned by Mr Day

Sedgefield continues to thrive today, whereas nearby Bishop Auckland closed its gates for the final time in 1769.

The earliest record of a meeting in the vicinity of Bishop Auckland was on 3rd March 1662 when a 3 race card was staged on Hunwicke Moor with Mr Davidson’s ‘nag’ winning the first race. Bailey’s Racing Register began including results from Bishop Auckland in 1728 when the Plate was won by Mr Gallant’s Smiling Tom on 2nd July.  However, the meeting attempted in October 1754 gave an indication of the difficulties of staging races in the town. On 13th October, despite offering a £50 prize, there were no takers, so the meeting was rescheduled to 31st October when, once again, there were no takers. There are limited records of successful meeting taking place between 1756 and 1769 as it appears that the gentry had withdrawn their support. This led to a vacuum which was filled with undesirables taking control of meetings and eventually a programme of flapping races.

Tuesday 2nd July 1728
The Bishop Auckland 4 year old Plate
1. Smiling Tom, grey colt owned by Mr Gallant
2. Polly Peachum, grey filly owned by Mr Croft
3. Stroker, grey filly owned by Mr Byerly

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1861 map shown below.
Sedgefield P.JPG (20811 bytes)
The pre-Second World War badge allowed its owner to attend 5 meetings in the year. However, due to the outbreak of War the December meeting was cancelled. However, the results of the main race at each of the other 4 meetings are shown below:-

Wednesday 8th February 1939
Sedgefield Handicap Steeplechase over 2 miles

1. Lord Drinmore (3/1) owned by Col R Tweedie and ridden by M Hogan
Wednesday 8th March 1939
South Durham Open Hunt Cup over 2 miles

1. Vain Knight (4/1) ridden by Mr H Falconer
Wednesday 5th April 1939
Wynard Hurdle over 2 ½ miles

1. Alton (11/4) owned by Mrs I Strang and ridden by M Hogan
Wednesday 10th May 1939
Stanhope Handicap Hurdle over 2 miles

1. Vale Royal (6/1) owned by Mr Webb and ridden by Bryan Marshall

1991-92 Member 1992-93 Member 1993-94 Member 1994-95 Member 1995-96 Member

2000 The Durham National was won by Mister Muddypaws (8/1), trained by Howard Johnson and ridden by Tony Dobbin 7 ran
2001 The Durham National was won by Act in Time (14/1), trained by Tom George and ridden by R Wakley 15 ran
2002 The Durham National was won by Fatehal Khair (15/2), trained by Brian Ellison and ridden by V T Keane 9 ran
2003 The Durham National was won by Random Harvest (9/1), trained by Mrs Mary Reveley and ridden by A J Dempsey 7 ran
2004 The Durham National was won by Lord Capitane (10/3 fav), trained by Howard Johnson and ridden by Graham Lee 12 ran
2005 The Durham National was won by Prince of Slane (16/1), trained by Alan Swinbank and ridden by Dougie Costello 11 ran
2006 The Durham National was won by Devil’s Run (4/1 jf), trained by John Wade and ridden by Paddy Aspell 12 ran
2007 The Durham National was won by Burren Moonshine (3/1 jf), trained by Peter Bowen and ridden by Tom O’Brien 10 ran
2008 The Durham National was won by Surface To Air (28/1), trained by Chris Bealby and ridden by Tom Messenger 15 ran

1996-97 Member 1997-98 Member 1998-99 Member 1999-2000 Member 2000-01 Member

2009 The Durham National was won by Lucky Nellerie (11/2), trained by Ferdy Murphy and ridden by Michael O’Connell 9 ran
2010 The Durham National was won by General Hardi (11/1), trained by John Wade and ridden by Brian Hughes 10 ran
2011 The Durham National was won by Simply Smashing (11/2), trained by Philip Kirby and ridden by Kyle James 8 ran
2012 The Durham National was won by Chamirey (13/2), trained by Donald McCain jnr and ridden by Jason Maguire 6 ran
2013 The Durham National was won by Lackamon (11/2), trained by Mrs S J Smith and ridden by Ryan Mania 10 ran
2014 The Durham National was won by Royale Knight (11/4 fav), trained by Dr Richard Newland and ridden by Daryl Jacob 12 ran
2015 The Durham National was won by Royale Knight (10/1), trained by Dr Richard Newland and ridden by Will Kennedy 7 ran
2016 The Durham National was won by Buachaill Alainn (6/1), trained by Peter Bowen and ridden by Sean Bowen 9 ran
2017 The Durham National was won by Audacious Plan (6/4 fav), trained by Dr Richard Newland and ridden by Bryan Hughes 13 ran
2018 The Durham National was won by Brian Boranha (7/1), trained by Peter Niven and ridden by Henry Brooke 7 ran

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.
ORDER FORM
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    
Total    
Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com