England's oldest horse race the Kiplingcotes Derby is all set to run again this year in the Yorkshire Wolds

England’s oldest horse race will run again this year following its cancellation during the pandemic.

The two riders walked the course of the race so it could continue to run as tradition states if it is not run one year it cannot be held the following March
The two riders walked the course of the race so it could continue to run as tradition states if it is not run one year it cannot be held the following March

The Kiplingcotes Derby, which is run along four miles of track and wide roadside vergers in the Wolds will welcome a field of horses and riders on its traditional date of the third Thursday in March.

With the Covid-19 pandemic making it impossible to hold for the past two years, the race has been kept alive by two riders walking the course as according to the traditional rules, if the race is not run one year then it cannot be held the following March.

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The first Kiplingcotes Derby, which takes place near to Market Weighton is said to have been held in 1519, although the first recorded race was not until 1555. The winner gets prize money of less than £100 - the interest on an endowment provided by “five noblemen, 19 baronets and 25 gentlemen”.

Quirkily, though, the second-placed rider usually wins more since they are awarded the entrance fees.

This year’s race will take place on Thursday, March 17.

Jockeys Stephen Crawford with Ferkin and four time winner John Thirsk aboard Harry who rode the course of the Kiplingcotes Derby in 2020 and 2021 in order to ensure the race could continue. Picture Tony Johnson