Hereford Racecourse

Hereford Racecourse, which caters solely for National Hunt racing, occupies a prestigious location on the outskirts of Hereford, just two miles from the city centre. The racecourse is leased and operated by Arena Racing Company (ARC) under the auspices of Herefordshire Council. Despite its controversial closure in December, 2012 – when it was deemed “not financially viable” – Hereford Racecourse reopened for business in October, 2016.

 

Course Characteristics

 

Hereford Racecourse consists of a right-handed, almost square circuit, measuring approximately a mile-and-a-half around. There are nine, moderately stiff, fences per circuit, including two open ditches, and a relatively short, 300-yard run-in. The course is largely flat and, with the exception of the home turn, which is fairly sharp, the bends are easy. On the whole, Hereford is considered a fair, galloping track, which places an emphasis on speed, rather than stamina. Horses not travelling well before the home turn may find themselves left behind on the downhill run into the straight.

 

Track Facts

 

Hereford is a grass roots National Hunt track that is a popular “schooling ground” for horses from West Country and Lambourn stables still learning their trade. Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Silver Buck and Bregawn, to name but two, were winners at Hereford earlier in their careers.

The first recorded race meeting at Hereford was held in August 1771, but National Hunt racing wasn’t introduced until 1840.

When Hereford Racecourse reopened in October, 2016, the first meeting was attended by 5,000 racegoers and Hereford city centre was gridlocked an hour before the first race.

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