Based in the heart of the Cambridgeshire countryside Huntingdon Racecourse is known for its excellent, flat ground which tends to favour the quicker horses. The course which is situated a short distance from the market town of Huntingdon plays host to 19 jump races every year as well as the very popular British Mascot Grand National which takes place in September. The Racegoers Club recently voted Huntingdon as the Best Small Racecourse in the South Midlands and East Anglia.
1775 was the year of the first recorded meeting involving Huntingdon at nearby Port Holme. It was not until the end of the nineteenth century that records showed further race meetings. A two day meeting held in July of 1898 was followed by another in August of the same year.
However, just eight years later there was a major development in the history of Huntingdon racecourse as the decision to relocate from Port Holme was made. Although no immediate plans had been laid the move was finalised in 1920 after the formation of the Huntingdon Steeplechase group. It was in the wake of this formation that the Brampton races began.
The next great development in the history of Huntingdon came in 1953 with the appointment of John Goodcliff as Chairman of the Steeplechase Committee. This sparked a period of rapid improvements to the ground’s facilities which established Huntingdon as one of the country’s finest.
The open ditch that lies directly in front of the Grandstand that has become one of the defining features of the Huntingdon course was completed in 1967 and named after the ground’s chairman. Goodcliff resigned from his position at the Steeplechase committee six years later.
The Mascot Grand National
An idea of the Huntingdon Racecourse management team, the Mascot Grand National has grown in popularity year on year since its debut race in 1999. The race has seen entrants from Premier League football teams to daily newspapers.
The first year saw Beau Brummie Bear of Birmingham City Football Club take the coveted title ahead of 16 other comedy characters. The following year saw a surge in popularity and participation with 49 mascots on the start line.
The Mascot Grand National remains an important fixture in Huntingdon’s race season and more details can be found on the official website
Huntingdon quickly gained a reputation as racing’s home of speed. Measuring just one mile three furlongs in distance, stamina plays a secondary role to raw speed around the oval circuit. Nine fences cover each circuit with an open ditch situated directly in front of the grandstand. The layout is similar to that of Kempton’s Christmas meeting.
For 2008 event fixtures visit 2008 Fixtures
Ticket prices for 2008:
Main Enclosure: £15
Picnic Enclosure: £7
Children Under 16: Free
Bookings can be made online via the official website
Brampton Racecourse Huntingdon Cambridgeshire PE28 4NL
Huntingdon is easily accessible from all areas of the country via the A14 off the A1 at the A1/M1 link road which joins the M11 at Cambridge.
Huntingdon Railway Station is situated one and a half miles from the racecourse. Trains run frequently from London Kings Cross and a free shuttle bus operates on race days running between the station and the racecourse for two hours before the first race and half an hour either side of the final race.
Website: Official Website
Telephone: 01480 455275
Fax: 01480 455275