Wincanton is a jump racecourse situated in the Somerset countryside which features National Hunt race fixtures during the winter months.
Wincanton has a long history of racing dating back to the 19th Century when the town is believed to have hosted the first ever steeplechase. Hunting was a popular activity in the Somerset area at that time and by the end of the nineteenth century there was a series of regular race fixtures held at Hatherleigh Farm, which was regulated by the National Hunt committee, established in 1861.
In 1913 the Wincanton Race Company was formed although further racing was postponed until after the First World War, resuming again on Easter Monday, 1920.
After financial difficulties when Lord Stalbridge narrowly saved the race company from liquidation, the racecourse moved to its current site at Kingwell Farm in 1925, with the inaugural meeting being held at the new course two years later.
During the Second World War, racing was postponed and the racecourse was used as a military base. At the end of the war, Lord Stalbridge put the course up for sale and it was purchased by ten National Hunt racers.
At that time essential developments were made to the course after which the first post-war meeting was held in October 1945. In 1966 the racecourse changed hands again and this time it was purchased by the Racecourse Holdings Trust who, since then, have continued to increase the quality and popularity of racing at Wincanton.
In 2001 the trust invested heavily in the facilities at the racecourse which today attracts top equestrians from all over the country.
Wincanton hosts seventeen jump races between October and May each year. Saturday meetings at the racecourse showcase some of the best racing in Wincanton’s season, featuring top National Hunt racers from around the country.
Sunday and bank holiday meetings are always family events with crèche facilities and ‘jolly jumpers’ entertainment to keep younger race-goers amused. The highlights of the racing calendar at Wincanton include:
- Countryside Day: Held every year at the end of April, Countryside Day features terrier and ferret racing as well as a number of National Hunt races.
- Spring Evening Meeting: Offering a festive atmosphere the Spring Races also include live music and entertainment.
- Easter Monday: Easter Monday has always been a significant day for racing in Wincanton, a tradition which dates back to the 19th century, when huntsmen raced against each other at Hatherleigh Farm. Today Easter Monday features a day of six National Hunt races alongside a variety of family entertainment.
- Boxing Day: A popular racing day at Wincanton which includes the Lord Stalbridge Memorial Handicap Chase, named after the former owner of the racecourse who died in 1949.
Tickets can be bought online or through the ticket hotline (08700 115 007) at the following prices:
- Facilities: Premier viewing of all areas, restaurant, bars, betting facilities
- Adult: £16
- Under 25: £13
- Under 16: Free
- Facilities: Viewing access to the parade ring and winners’ enclosure, bars, food outlets, betting facilities
- Adult: £11
- Under 25: £11
- Under 16: Free
- Facilities: Good view of racecourse, picnic site, bar, refreshment outlets, betting facilities
- Adult: £5
- Under 25: £5
- Under 16: Free
Wincanton Racecourse is easily accessed by road and public transport.
From Bournemouth take the A350 following signs to Blandford. At the traffic lights north of Blandford turn left towards Sturminster Newton/ A357. Continue along the A357 bypassing Sturminster Newton towards Wincanton. On approaching Wincanton town centre take the B3081 towards Brunton, continuing along the B3081 until the racecourse becomes visible on the left hand side.
From Bristol follow signs for Shepton Mallet and from Shepton Mallet take the A371 towards Wincanton and Castle Cary. On approaching Wincanton town centre take the B3081 towards Brunton, continuing along the B3081 until the racecourse becomes visible on the left hand side.
Parking at the racecourse is free with the exception of the Course Enclosure which is £6 per car, allocated on a first come first served basis.
By Rail/ Bus
The nearest train station to the racecourse is Templecombe, 4 miles south of Wincanton on the Waterloo-Exeter line. On race days there is a courtesy bus service which collects race-goers from the Waterloo train before the race and goes back to the train station when the meeting is over.
For information about races or for general enquiries contact:
Address: Wincanton Racecourse, Wincanton, Somerset, BA9 8BJ
Tel: 01963 32344
Fax: 01963 34668