UPDATED:
avatar

Finances force closure of Tweseldown racecourse

Tweseldown.jpg

Tweseldown racecourse is to close after almost 150 years, due to a lack of funding.

The course, near Aldershot, Hants, has been used solely for point-to-pointing since 1932.

“We simply cannot raise the £20,000 needed to renovate the fences and carry out essential groundwork,” said Steven Astaire of the Tweseldown Club and a director of the Point-to-Point Authority.

Other equestrian events held at Tweseldown – including the popular horse trials – will continue to run.

The racecourse was first used in 1866 and hosted the Grand Military Gold Cup
until it was moved to Sandown in 1887.

“It has been a struggle for a lot of meetings for a number of years,” added Mr Astaire. “The cost of birch is ever rising and we would need thousands to get the fences to the standard we’d like.

“Along with a few others, I’ve bankrolled the course for several years but you
can’t push water uphill.

“We’ve had a run of bad luck, too – bad weather, vandals, rabbit damage to the course. We’ve battled away, but just can’t continue.”

The fences are all being sold, but Mr Astaire added that if sponsorship were found in a couple of years, he wouldn’t rule out a return to racing at the course in the future.

Forum users on the Jumping for Fun website expressed disappointment, calling it a “sad day for racing“, “a terrible loss” and a “terrible, terrible shame”.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (23 August 2012)

Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk