History

History

The first recorded horse races in the Ripon area took place in 1664 on Bondgate Green. Over the next 236 years, several other venues were used to stage race meetings. Indeed, during one meeting in 1723, Ripon race goers witnessed horse racing history, when they watched the first ever race exclusively for lady riders.

However, none of the historic venues had long lasting success and it took the RRC_004 x4opening of the current course on Boroughbridge Road to establish Ripon as a regular flat racing venue.

In 1900 Ripon Racecourse moved to its current location at Boroughbridge Road and has been an important fixture on the racing scene ever since. The very first meeting at the modern course was held on the sixth of August 1900 and since that time the racecourse has developed so well it is now regarded as the sporting flagship of this medieval market town.

Well respected within the industry and a popular choice with Yorkshire based owners, Ripon earned the title of ‘Best Small Racecourse in the North’ as voted by the Racegoers Club in 2011, 2014 and 2015.

Due to its most pleasant surroundings, Ripon is known as Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse, and during the flat racing season, racegoers can enjoy the Ripon facilities on any one of seventeen race days in 2018.

With total prize money well in excess of a million pounds, the fixture list at Ripon incorporates some outstanding races. In August alone, the course stages two major highlights. The William Hill Great St Wilfred Handicap is a six furlong sprint which is named after the towns patron saint and due to the large number of runners, and the vagaries of the draw, it quite often requires divine inspiration to select the winner. Later in the month, On August bank holiday Monday Ripon stages its Listed EBF Champion Two Year Old Trophy which often attracts leading young horses from major stables.

Ripon RacecourseStaging only flat racing, horses run right handed over an undulating oval course measuring one mile five furlongs in circumference. There is a sharp bend into the home straight and the straight is one of the longest in the country, being five furlongs in length. The last furlong of the run in is noticeably uphill with undulations and on softer going stamina becomes very important. On firm or good going, statistically at least, the sprint course favours low drawn horses.

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