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GO Horse Racing In Durham

Horse Racing in Durham Racing first took place at Sedgefield [map] in 1732, although the first recorded meetings were not until 1846. At this time the course was actually part of the Sands Hall Estate, home of the Ord family and known as the Melton of the North.

In 1804 Ralph Lambton, an ancestor of the Earls of Durham, formed a club at the Hardwicke Arms, and Sedgefield became the headquarters of the Ralph Lambton Hunt.

By the turn of the 20th century Sedgefield was described as, ‘one of the very finest of good turf’ and during Edwardian times the course had a two day fixture in March, making it a much more professional event.

Due to World War I racing was abandoned from 1915 until 1920 but the post-war resumption was marred by the death of Richard Ord, the Squire of Sands Hall, who was owner of the estate.

By the mid-20s Sedgefield had three meetings a year, including a lucrative Boxing Day fixture, which still takes place to this day. Since then the number of fixtures have gradually increased to the current 22.

In the late 1970s, under the reins of Frank Scotto, the racecourse was re-vamped, with the introduction of new bars and eating areas and improved stable facilities for the horses, stable staff, jockeys, owners and trainers.

With racing becoming a popular sport, Scotto's aim was to make Sedgefield a friendly, welcoming place, with top class facilities available to all racegoers.

The course has undoubtedly achieved this status, as it is now one of the top sporting, entertainment and conference venues in the North East. Punters can choose from a variety of race day packages, which include top class meals and evening discos.

For more information on Sedgefield Racecourse visit the website www.sedgefield-racecourse.co.uk.

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