Just like Beverley, Sedgefield is regarded as the Friendly Racecourse. It boasts a great family day out, with 19 National Hunt meetings held right from January through to December.
Avid racing fans will be no doubt well aware of Sedgefield’s cruel run-in. As horses approach the main stand and the finishing post, after a potentially gruelling race over jumps, they have to make one last exhausting effort, climbing up arguably the steepest ascent in British horseracing. Among Sedgefield’s big race meetings are the Paddypower.com Cheltenham Champion Hurdle Day in early March, the Durham National in late April and the popular Boxing Day meeting.
Early Racing Days
The first recorded race meeting at Sedgefield is said to have taken place in 1846, with Sedgefield racecourse originally called the Melton of the North. It formed part of the Ord family’s Sands Hall Estate. In the Edwardian era, a two-day meeting was held at Sedgefield every March. Despite always being a meeting for hunting men, it was still seen as a highly professional event.
World War One was to blame for the cancellation of the vast majority of Britain’s racing, with Sedgefield no exception. Courses were generally turned into hospitals or army training camps. Shortly after racing at Sedgefield got underway again in 1920, Richard Ord, Squire and owner of Sands Hall Estate, Sedgefield, sadly passed away.
By the mid-1920s, there were three meetings at the County Durham course per year, including a money-spinning fixture on Boxing Day, still a highlight of the Sedgefield calendar. Since the formation of the Racecourse Company in 1927, the number of race meetings per year has risen from as little as three to a total of 20.
Growing Demand, Growing Reputation
Sedgefield has developed dramatically over the years. Under Chairman Frank Scotto, appointed in 1977, Sedgefield was refurbished from top to bottom. The tin huts that regular Sedgefield racegoers had become accustomed to were removed, to be replaced by smart new bars and eating complexes. Meanwhile, stable facilities improved, to be enjoyed by the horses, stable staff, jockeys, owners and trainers alike.
As horseracing’s popularity increased, Chairman Frank Scotto intended, above anything else, to give Sedgefield the reputation of a friendly, welcoming place, with top class facilities available to its racegoers, all at an reasonable price.
Sedgefield races has, over the years, gained an ever-growing reputation as a classy, modern racing venue and, in 1991, the developments continued when the ribbon on the new Sedgefield Pavilion was cut. This new complex included a public bar, Tote betting facilities, a restaurant and seven private entertaining suites. Scotto added to this in 1995, when the Theakston Suite was completed and opened. Similar to the Sedgefield Pavilion, this area housed a public bar, Tote facilities and three entertaining suites.
In February 1996, Frank Scotto died, yet the racecourse has continued to expand ever since. The Parade Ring/Winners Enclosure has been redeveloped, along with a brand new Betting Ring. Furthermore, in 1998, a state-of-the art Weighing Room Complex was built, with better facilities for jockeys, officials and medical staff. Another recent social complex to be opened recently was the Foster’s Stand Public Bar, including an eating area and two private suites.
For all enquiries, contact:
- Sedgefield Racecourse
- TS21 2HW
- Tel: 01740 621925
- Fax: 01740 620663
- Web: Sedgefield Racecourse
- Email: email@example.com
Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 01740 621925, or alternatively by purchasing tickets on entry to the course on racedays.
- £14 (1-14 tickets)
- £11.20 (15+ tickets – 20% discount applies)
- £8 (OAP, Students & 16-18 year olds – Must provide valid documentation.)
- £7 (no concessions)
- Under-16s can enter the course for free when accompanied by an adult.
For more detailed information please visit the website.
From Middlesbrough and the East – Take the A177 off the A19, following this road until reaching the racecourse.
From the North and South – Take the A1(M), exiting at Junction 60. Then follow the brown Tourist Board signs to the course.
Car parking is always free on racedays, except within the racecourse enclosure, where a £5 charge applies.
A number of options are available – Stockton-on-Tees is 9 miles away, Durham 12 miles away and Darlington 8 miles away. The more local Newton Aycliffe station is 5.5 miles away.
For further information please visit the National Rail website.