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Earliest meeting: Friday 20th March 1840
Final meeting: Tuesday 19th July 1870
The Lincolnshire town of Spilsby, located 33 miles from the County town of Lincoln, is in beautiful countryside to the north of the Fens and the south of the Lincolnshire Wolds. Racing first took place in 1840, with the results from the meeting held on Friday 20th March 1840 reported in the Sporting Magazine. The principal Sweepstakes was won by an easy 3 lengths by Mr G Patchett’s Grasshopper when ridden by Brown. The racecourse was at Hundleby, a mile from Spilsby, near to the Franklin Way footpath, the Hundleby Inn and North Bank which provided a natural viewing grandstand. At the meeting on Tuesday 24th July 1866 the Spilsby Members Sprint over 6 furlongs was won by William L’Anson’s Fandango colt, while the Grimsthorpe Park Stakes went to Mr Simon’s Goxhill. However, the newspapers were highly critical of the management, commenting ‘it is extremely unfortunate that the promoters of this meeting have confessedly failed to raise its standard’. In particular, the number of entries secured and the inability to eradicate welching were two reasons why the organisers were advised to rethink their strategy. The final meeting took place on Tuesday 19th July 1870 when the Great Northern Railway boosted the crowd by running an excursion train from Boston, offering single fares for a return journey.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 1 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Earl of Westmorland, Lord Willoughby, Mr William L'Anson
Principal Races Spilsby Members Stakes, Eresby Stakes, Grimsthorpe Park Stakes

Friday 20th March 1840

Spilsby Sweepstakes
1. Grasshopper owned by Mr G Patchett
2. Flora owned by Mr R Soulby
3. Nathan owned by Mr J Smith
The winner was ridden by Brown and won by 3 lengths.

Tuesday 24th July 1866

The Spilsby Members Stakes over 6 furlongs
1. Unnamed gelding by Fandango owned by Mr William L’Anson
2. Goxhill owned by Mr Simon
3. Nineveh owned by Mr Clark

The Eresby Stakes over 2 miles
1. The Turner owned by Mr J Glover
2. Count Cavour owned by Mr Gilby

The Grimsthorpe Park Stakes over a mile
1. Goxhill owned by Mr Simon
2. Doubtful owned by Mr Lundie
3. Flying Bird owned by Mr W Dear

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 19th July 1870.
Course today A mile from Spilsby towards Hundleby, which was a village in its own right in the 19th century.
The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.
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

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