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The Ludlow Racecourse

Published on: 06/08/2013

A delightfully rural setting is the backdrop for one of the most important thoroughbred horse racing venues. Ludlow Racecourse is situated in the picturesque Market town of Ludlow in Shropshire, squeezed between the diminutive villages of Stanton Lacy and Bromfield. This right-handed venue hosts a number of prestigious National Hunt events throughout the year. Between October and May it stages 16 fixtures. The racecourse is extremely popular, and always draws in a large crowd, both from the locals, and those further afield.

A Characteristically Singular Course

Local Legend has it that during the 14th century solders were drawn from Ludlow Castle to come and race their horses against each other. There are a large number of historical records, listing race fixtures and results. So steeped is the place in competitive equestrian history that you can almost hear the cheers from ancient crowds of people lingering in the air. The Edwardian character of the racecourse and the picturesque it is situated in only adds to it’s charm and atmosphere.

The county of Shropshire contains one of the countries oldest active golf courses, which was established in 1889. Originally of course the racing circuit was just used for riders to pit their speed and skill against each other; only later did it become a jumping arena. The golf course makes up the infield area, and in 1922 was extensively redesigned by the distinguished Scottish golfer James Braid. The course is now a respectable 70-par, 6,277 yards 18-hole area.

Ludlow Racecourse has a number of features that mark it out, that add to its character. One of these is that the road crosses it at no less than three places. Traffic on the B4365 must be diverted when the racecourse is being used. To aid racegoers a complimentary bus service will take them from Ludlow Train Station to the track. This shuttle service joins up with those trains from Hereford and Shrewsbury, and naturally takes them back once the day’s races are over.

There are numerous races that take place on the course, but one of note is the Forbra Gold Challenge Cup. This takes place every March, and is a handicap chase. The Attwood Memorial Trophy Handicap Chase is another interesting race, taking place every February. A number of jockeys have a particular liking for the Ludlow Racecourse; some who have performed with success there recently are Richard Johnson and A.P. McCoy. Two trainers who have accomplished much at the course are Nicky Henderson and Evan Williams. The racecourse seems to bring out the best in many people.

Current Racing at Ludlow

The course has been modernized with a great deal of care and good design. In 2002 the Jubilee stand was constructed; and in 2010 the Plymouth and Member’s stands were completed. Above the Paddock Stand and the Grandstand sits a spacious restaurant, offering fine food for any of the spectators who may wish to dine before races. An impressive wide spanning balcony provides panoramic viewing of the not only the racecourse, but the picturesque country views.

The Plymouth stand houses a Carvery restaurant on its second floor, while the Clive Pavilion restaurant caters for the day members. The Pavilion also houses the Owners & Trainers Bar, which is obviously restricted to general members of the public. They will certainly not miss out though, for the Paddock and Grandstand have a well stocked drinks and snack bar. The Course Enclosure also caters for the hungry, offering a more general assortment of snacks.

For the impressive price of only £21 the public can purchase a members day badge: this grants them admission to all areas of the racecourse apart from the Annual Members Bar. If this is deemed too expensive you can buy a £10 Course Ticket: this grants access only to the Course Enclosure, but excludes the winners enclosure and the parade ring. Those under 18 are granted free admittance, provided they are accompanied by a paying adult. Along with the banning of dogs, the course decided to impose a dress code, prohibiting all rugby and football shirts, ripped jeans and vests. The reason for this was to uphold the character of this historic horse racing course, which surely must rank as one of the most impressive in the country.

Published on: 06/08/2013 © Bet Bind
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