Sedgefield Racecourse

Horse racing first took place on Sedgefield Racecourse, in its current location, on the former Sands Hill Estate in Durham, northeast England, in 1846. The racecourse closed between 1915 and 1920 because of World War I, but the number of annual fixtures started to increase from 1927 onwards, following the formation of the Sedgefield Racecourse Company. The late Frank Scotto, who became chairman in 1977, was instrumental in saving the course from closure and, under the auspices of Arena Racing Company (ARC), facilities for jockeys, owners, trainers and the racegoing public have continued to improve ever since. Sedgefield plays host to 18 National Hunt meetings throughout the season.

Course Characteristics

The Sedgefield course consists of a left-handed, sharp, undulating, testing oval about a mile and a quarter around. There are eight easy fences, or five flights of hurdles, per circuit and a run-in of 200 yards. The home turn is the highest point on the course, but some of the uphill sections, notably the last 150 yards, call for intensive effort and make races over three miles or more a thorough test of stamina.

 

Track Facts

The most valuable race run at Sedgefield, the John Wade Novices’ Hurdle Series Final, is sponsored by the leading owner at the track.

For several months in 2011, a stray collie, who became known locally as “Dwain the Dog”, remained at large on Sedgefield racecourse. A local bookmaker offered a £500 reward for his safe capture.

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