Whether you are new to horse racing, or a seasoned follower of the 'Sport of Kings', there's only one place to watch it in Staffordshire and that's Uttoxeter Racecourse. Find out more about going along and the course history here...
Uttoxeter Racecourse is the home of National Hunt racing in Staffordshire. It's regarded as one of the finest country racecourses in the land.
Although it's traditionally a winter sport, Uttoxeter stages a year-round programme of racing, with 25 fixtures on its calendar. They include the showpiece racse, the John Smiths Midlands Grand National in March, and the Britannia Building Society English National in June. Both these races are over four miles in length.
The racetrack itself is an oval of around one mile and two furlongs (one and a quarter miles). For spectators there are 2 main grandstands with bars, places to buy food, and plenty of bookmakers to place your bets.
It also stages themed events - including Irish Night, Medieval Day and James Bond-style nights where cocktail dresses and tuxedos are the order of the day. For a full list of events go to the official web-site:-
Uttoxeter Racecourse History
Uttoxeter racecourse was built back in 1907, and 5 meetings a year were held. The racecourse was forced to close (as all courses were) during the First and Second World Wars.
When it re-opened in 1952, more than 12 thousand people turned up for the first meeting. It was in 1988 that current owners Northern Racing acquired the course with the late Sir Stanley Clarke appointed Chairman.
Champion jockey Tony McCoy has fond memories of Uttoxeter Racecourse. It was there that he became the most-winning National Hunt jockey of all time. His 1700th win came when he rode Mighty Montefalco to victory.
He's not the only record breaker at Uttoxeter. In June 1967, Champion jockey Josh Gifford equalled Fred Winter's record of 121 winners in a season at the course. The horse he rode was a local - five-year-old Jolly Signal from Hednesford. Gifford went on to break the record during that same meeting.
Lord Gyllene is probably the most famous horse from the Uttoxeter track, because it was owned by the former racecourse Chairman, the late Sir Stanley Clarke.
Lord Gyllene leads the Grand National
After finishing second in the Midlands Grand National, Lord Gyllene went on to record an historic victory in the Grand National at Aintree, just 4 weeks later.
Another horse that ran at Uttoxeter and then went on to victory at the National is Rag Trade. It won the Midlands Grand National in 1976, and followed-up by winning at Aintree a year later.
last updated: 30/06/2009 at 12:11