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: April 1715
Final meeting: Friday 17th June 1881
The Scottish Borders town of Selkirk, on the River Tweed tributary of Ettrick Water, was the site of the first Border Abbey and was granted Royal Burgh status in the 13th century. Official town records indicate that racing first took place in the Selkirk area, at the Gala Rig, as early as 1715 when a silver plate, valued at £10, was contested and became an annual event. However, it is thought that racing took place well before that date, probably as early as 1656. A silver Town Plate was contested on the last Tuesday of April each year, with the Burgh Plate being run on the following day. In the early 1970s a cup containing the Town’s coat of arms was discovered and was thought to be the prize for the Selkirk Cup race from that early date. By 1824 a new course at the Gala Rig had been established, when its inaugural two day meeting took place on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th June 1824. The opening 10 Guineas Subscription Purse was won by Mr Barr, while the Members two mile Purse went to Mr Robertson’s Creeping Jenny. Racing continued on a regular basis for a further 57 years. The principal race at this time was the Tradesman's Stakes over 1 ½ miles which was won in 1870 by Yarrow, owned by G. Dryden, and he later claimed success in the same race in 1874. The final meeting took place on Friday 17th June 1881, although well after this date minor meetings were staged but also included non-thoroughbred races. A typical card was held on Friday 14th June 1895 when the Draught Horse Race was won by Mr Chisholm’s Bob; the Burgh Handicap over 6 furlongs by Mr Burns’ Canam, and the prestigious Gala Rig Plate by Mr Grierzon’s Reaping.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 3 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr Robertson, Mr Benson
Principal Races Selkirk Town Silver Plate, Selkirk Tradesmen’s Plate

Friday 25th June 1824
Selkirk Subscription Purse over 2 miles
1. Creeping Jenny, bay mare owned by Mr Robertson
2. Fanny, bay mare owned by Mr Johnstone
3. Unnamed bay horse owned by Mr Benson

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the map shown below.

The final meeting took place on Friday 17th June 1881.
Course today The old racecourse at Gala Rig is still visible today.

With grateful thanks to Stephen McCurrie for this rare scan of a Race Pass for Selkirk.

I am grateful to the contributors of the photos shown below, which they allow to be produced under the Creative Common Licence, and can recommend a visit to the webpage via the link given.

The Old Racecourse at Selkirk                                            The Padock at Selkirk

I am grateful to Walter Baxter for allowing the use of the pictures via the Creative Common Licence

The Bend at Selkirk                                                    The Weighing Room at Selkirk

I am grateful to Iain Lewis for allowing the use of the pictures via the Creative Common Licence

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    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to