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Earliest meeting: Monday 22nd September 1884
Final meeting: Monday 10th May 1897
Hazelford Ferry was an important crossing point over the River Trent prior to 1875 and formed part of the link between Lincoln and Grimsby. The area, steeped in history, had its own Saxon Court when King Edwin was on the throne in 627. In the latter part of the 1800s it was the site of a series of race meetings organised by the South Notts Hunt Group. The initial meeting recorded in the hamlet was on Monday 22nd September 1884. The course was laid out as a 6 furlong round course by Mr A Merryfield, ably assisted by Mr W J Ford from Nottingham, complete with temporary viewing stand. This was later extended to become a permanent structure when the meeting became a very popular local meeting.  The very first Steeplechase was won by Beacon, owned by a generous sponsor Lord Shrewsbury. The early programmes consisted of 6 races, but in later years this was extended to include a seventh race. Races were run under the Rules of National Hunt racing in May each year, with Stakes races ranging from 25 sovereigns to 50 sovereigns. One of the highlights of a number of the later meetings was a regular battle between Arron, owned by Mr Godson, and Clawson, owned by Mr Jolland. They were deemed to be equal in ability and any finish involving the pair was quite a spectacle. The final meeting was extremely well attended, showing the popularity of the venue, and took place on Monday 10th May 1897.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Shrewsbury, Lord Harrington, Lord Savile, Captain Middleton, Sir James Duke
Principal Races Elvaston Castle Steeplechase, Newark Handicap Hurdle

Monday 7th May 1894
Elvaston Castle Steeplechase over 3 miles
1. Madehurst, 4 year old owned by Mr Murland
2. St Fillan, aged horse owned by Mr Praed
3. My Lady, aged mare owned by Mr W A Brown

The final meeting took place on Monday 10th May 1897.

Course today A 6 furlong round course with temporary stand on land overseen by Mr A Merryfield.
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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