About Us

Situated in the wonderful old cobbled market town of Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

Thirsk is also the birthplace of Thomas Lord, the founder of Lords Cricket Ground and was forever immortalised as Darrowby in the books of the world’s most famous veterinary author, James Herriot. In fact, he occasionally found himself recruited to work at the Racecourse on racedays!

Since 1855

Heritage & History

Thirsk has a rich racing heritage and history. Our association with horse racing can be traced back as far as 1612. The first race meeting on the current course was held in 1855 and the Thirsk Hunt Cup, run over one mile every spring, has been a feature of the Thirsk season for over 100 years.

Home exclusively to flat race meetings, Thirsk Racecourse is a flat, left-handed oval of about one mile two furlongs in circumference, with a run-in of just over three furlongs from the home bend to the Winning Post. There is also a six furlong chute, which is slightly undulating.

About Us

A Warm Welcome Awaits You At Thirsk In 2023

Thirsk Racecourse is renowned for its beautifully maintained paddock and idyllic country charm, yet it is a thoroughly modern venue.  Its outstanding facilities has made it popular across the generations, from the most seasoned racing fan to the first-time racegoer.

A warm welcome awaits you at Thirsk Racecourse. The racing, facilities and friendly staff will make your visit a winning one, so whatever the outcome on the track, you’ll enjoy your day with us.

Scroll Right & Left

A Rich History of Horse Racing

  • 1855
    Owned by the Bell family, the 15th March was the date racing began at Thirsk, over a two-day meeting and was run on a total income of £700, including prize money.
  • 1859
    The Hunt Cup, value £30: Won by EGG SAUCE. Hurdle race over 1 1/2 miles.
  • 1862
    The Hunt Cup, value 100 sovereigns: Won by LADY BIRD over 2 1/2 miles.
  • 1867
    The Silver Cup: Won by EDGAR. Permission had to be obtained from the Stewards for assistance to be given to the Jockey, Mr J.S Thompson to carry his weight clothes to the scales as he was carrying so much lead.
  • 1872
    Neither the Hunt Cup nor Silver Cup that proved such a feature, were not given this year, and for the first time at Thirsk, two selling races substituted them.
  • 1880
    Up until this year there had only been one meeting held at Thirsk, that was April. Now an autumn fixture was held in October. The Spring meeting saw GRAND FLANEUR win the Hambleton Plate with OLIVETTE winning the Autumn Handicap Plate.
  • 1896
    Thirsk received a Royal Visit from The Prince of Wales, later King Edward, and a large crowd, not seen since the days when Fred Archer rode at Thirsk, attended the meeting. The Royal Stand, nicknamed The Royal Pavillion, is built in the centre of the course for his use on 17th and 18th October.
  • 1914 - 1923
    The Racecourse is closed for the duration of the war.
  • 1924
    The Hambleton Stand is built and the racecourse reopens on 8th August by ex-Dragoon Guards Officer, Brigadier - General Loftus Bates.
  • 1940
    The St Leger is run at Thirsk, won by the favourite STARDUST owned by Aga Khan.
  • 1967
    Thirsk's Tatterstalls (1967 stand) and family stand were built.
  • 1989
    Thirsk hosted Doncaster's 1989 William Hill November Cup, won by FIRELIGHT FIESTA, after drainage problems caused the abandonment of racing at that year’s St Leger meeting.
  • 1995
    The James Herriot Hall was opened. A nod towards Thirsks' famous literary vet James Herriot and the world famous Herriot Museum based in Thirsk.
  • 1997
    In April STARBOROUGH won the Thirsk Classic Trial, run over 1 mile and then went on to win the inaugural St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in June the same year, under Jockey Frankie Detorri.
  • 2012
    FARHH wins the Thirsk Hunt cup for Trainer Saeed bin Suroor. The same year the Thirsk Summer Cup was introduced, with a prize fund of £30,000 and was won by LORD AERYN at 20/1.
  • 2013
    After his 2012 success at Thirsk, Farhh goes onto win the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in 2013 and the Champion Stakes at Ascot in the same season.
  • 2014
    The Thomas Lord Dine & View Restaurant was opened and is named after the founder of Lords Cricket Ground, born in Thirsk, his house is now a museum.
  • 2018
    A new, modern Owners and Trainers Building was opened in September. Named the Chestnut Room after the line of Chestnut Trees which sit adjacent to the building in the pre-parade ring.
  • 2020
    The Hambleton Cup is now in its 165th year of running.