In 2015, Hexham Racecourse officially celebrated 125 years of racing, though it is believed that racing took place unofficially in the area for nearly 100 years before that. Racing now traditionally takes place here from March to December, with around 15 annual meetings attracting crowds to what is widely considered to be one of the friendliest racecourses in the United Kingdom. The course is set in beautiful surroundings, with the Northumberland countryside providing a natural amphitheatre.This is one of the main reasons why the course is also a popular destination for non-racing events such as parties, corporate days, and weddings.
Below are some key facts about Hexham Racecourse.
Course Type: Jumps
Current Owner: Hexham and Northern Marts
Hexham Racecourse is a left-handed jumps track that is best described as undulating, with horses asked to race uphill and downhill throughout the majority of races. The fences are also very fair. The ground makes a massive difference to how races are run. Races on good ground or faster can often suit front-runners, though these types of horses often pay the price for going off too fast in races run on soft ground, and especially heavy ground. That’s because the climb to the home straight can sap a horse’s energy and leave them vulnerable up what is quite a long home straight when the ground rides heavy. Punters that watch races at Hexham regularly will have seen many races change completely after the last.
Races here are especially popular with experienced in-running exchange punters that can gauge whether those in front have gone off too quick, with big prices often available about horses that appear to be struggling up the hill, only to run on past the exhausted leaders late on. Races between two miles and four miles are run here.
Hexham Racecourse hosts around 15 National Hunt Fixtures every season, including a variety of evening, weekend, mid-week, and bank holiday meetings. However, the main fixture takes place in May when the course hosts a meeting for some of rising stars of the National Hunt game called the Heart of All England Evening. The main race is the Heart of all England Hunters’ Chase, a race that has been won by the likes of Streets Of Milan and Tallow Fair.
Other notable racedays include the March Cheltenham Festival Raceday, at which racegoers can also watch the Thursday action from the Cheltenham Festival including the Stayer’s Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase. There’s also the Celebrating Northumberland Day, Family Fun Day, Ladies Day, and the Christmas Raceday.
Hexham Racecourse does not operate a strict formal dress code, but football shirts are not permitted. Racegoers would be advised to consider the weather forecast and ignoring the threat of cold winds or rain is not a good idea. Many racegoers do take the opportunity to dress up, but ladies are warned not to wear stilettos as the area in front of the stands is grass and banked in a way that is not suitable to such attire.
When World War II was taking place, Hexham Racecourse was commandeered to be an ammunition storage site. This was due to its remote location.
Address and Contact Details
Hexham Racecourse, High Yarridge, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 2JP