Taunton Racecourse

The first official National Hunt meeting on Taunton Racecourse, in Orchard Portman, Somerset, took place in 1927, making the course the youngest of its kind in the country. Waste material created by the construction of the M5 Taunton Bypass in the 1970s was used to build up and extend the course and facilities for spectators have been similarly transformed over the years. Today, Taunton Racecourse plays host to 13 National Hunt meetings between November and April.

Course Characteristics

Taunton Racecourse is right-handed, sharp oval, about a mile and a quarter in around, with minor undulations throughout. There are seven fairly stiff fences, or five flights of hurdles, per circuit. On the steeplechase course, the ground falls away approaching the last fence, which can catch out the unwary, and the run-in is short. The clay soil drains well, so conditions rarely become testing, even in the depths of winter.


Track Facts

The Royal Box at Taunton was built in 1959 for the visit of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. However, the visit was cancelled due to illness and the Queen Mother didn’t visit Taunton until 1962.

Rooster Booster, winner of the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2003, won his first race at Taunton in January 2000.

The much publicised Hunt Ball, formerly owned by Anthony Knott, ran his last race in Britain at Taunton in April 2013.

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