The 19 courses that make up Yorkshire’s racing heritage

Newmarket in Suffolk might consider itself the home of British horseracing but no other county can match Yorkshire for the breadth and number of courses.

12th September 1972:  Jockey F Burr on racehorse 'Crazy Rhythm' is led in after victory in the Ebor Handicap at York.  (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
12th September 1972: Jockey F Burr on racehorse 'Crazy Rhythm' is led in after victory in the Ebor Handicap at York. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

The crown jewel on the Knavesmire at York is encircled by four courses in the North Riding – Redcar, Ripon, Thirsk and Catterick – and by Wetherby and Pontefract in the west, Beverley in the east and Doncaster to the south. The York course attracts around 350,000 spectators in an average year and is second only to Ascot in the prize money available at each meeting.

Doncaster, meanwhile, is one of the oldest and largest courses in the country and home to the world’s oldest classic race, the St Leger, first run in 1776.

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But Yorkshire’s racing story also extends to Hambleton, where a course said to be one of the finest in the country operated until 1911. It also takes in Hull, Northallerton and Richmond, which closed during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

12th September 1957: Race horse Ballymoss, who won the St Leger at Doncaster. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

And until the 1700s there were also courses at Bedale, Bradford, Selby, Stokesley, Follifoot near Harrogate and Bishop Burton near Beverley,

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30th September 1926: Mr and Mrs Hartigan and Mr GF Hartigan at the Pontefract Races in Yorkshire, standing with an RAC driver. (Photo by G. Adams/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Thank you

James Mitchinson

September 1923: Crowds at Doncaster race-course on busy race day. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
September 1923: Racehorse 'Mumtaz Mahal' at Doncaster races with George Hulme up. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
30th September 1926: Racegoers at Pontefract Races, Yorkshire. (Photo by G. Adams/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
13th September 1947: The Maharajah of Baroda leading in his horse, 'Sayajirao' after it had won the St Leger at Doncaster. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
Lady Sibell Lygon (1907 - 2005), later Sibell Rowley, attends the second day of the York Races, 6th August 1926. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Picture taken on September 13, 1952 at Doncaster showing the Queen Elizabeth II walking in the paddock of the racecourse. (Photo by - / INTERCONTINENTALE / AFP) (Photo credit should read -/AFP via Getty Images)