We explore this racecourse in detail, looking at its history, a guide to the track, the major races, hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!
- 1 Overview of Sedgefield Races
- 2 The Racecourse History
- 3 The Main Races and Events Held at The Course
- 4 The Racecourse Map
- 5 Sedgefield Racecourse Address
- 6 How To Get To Sedgefield Racecourse
- 7 Hotels near Sedgefield Racecourse
- 8 Best Sedgefield Races Betting Sites
- 9 Betting Shops Local to Sedgefield Racecourse
- 10 Current Sedgefield Weather Forecast
- 11 Other Events Held at the Racecourse
- 12 Summary of Sedgefield Racing
- 13 Other Racecourses in the UK and Ireland
Overview of Sedgefield Races
Sedgefield Racecourse is a jumps course situated just 1km south of the village of Sedgefield, in the picturesque County Durham countryside.
Sedgefield Racecourse isn’t a name those not into their regular racing will necessarily have on the tip of their tongue, but it is a solid specialist jumps course and one that hosts horseracing all year round.
The track at Sedgefield Racecourse is left-handed and undulating, almost rectangular in shape. The fences are easy and very irregularly claim casualties. The finish is uphill and favours fast and accurate jumpers – although in good summer conditions, even horses that aren’t the best of jumpers can do well here.
Jump racing takes place at Sedgefield Racecourse throughout the year, with an average of 20 fixtures per annum of varying prominence in the industry calendar. It is not the case every year, but for many, June and July are left race-free and instead the venue is used for weddings, occasions and private events.
Sedgefield Racecourse is well known throughout County Durham for being a great day out – hosting not just serious racing fixtures but also lots of themed and fun events. Ticket prices are frequently offered at discounted rates and dress codes relaxed to welcome in families and groups of people who wouldn’t usually consider attending ‘the races’.
The facilities at Sedgefield Racecourse are competitive and remain a staple amongst those looking to stage private parties and events in the area. The hospitality options are unrivalled around the little town of Sedgefield and so it remains particularly popular for weddings and wedding receptions. It is unlike any other venue in the County and with several unique photo opportunities and settings, it is no surprise it remains a favourite amongst couples in the area and further afield!
The Racecourse History
Sedgefield Racecourse has a chequered history and despite having long been a venue for horseracing, it has almost been closed down on several occasions in the last century alone.
Racing is documented at having taken place at Sedgefield Racecourse from 1732, although detail from these times is scarce. In 1804, a formal race club was formed, known as the Ralph Lambton Hunt, but it wasn’t until 1846 that ‘proper’ formalised race meets were held.
Until World War 1, Sedgefield Racecourse played host to two race meetings a year, but when it re-opened after the war, the fixtures increased. However, all was not plain sailing thereafter. In 1977, the death of a club member meant that the course was close to going into administration and closing, but Frank Scotto took over and implemented a series of improvements and investments. These included building a proper grandstand and hospitality facilities, as well as improving stable facilities for trainers and racers. Scotto passed away in 1996 and the course’s future again looked unstable – and then in 1999, a horrific incident in a novices’ chase saw three horses become riderless and run the track the wrong way; all were killed. For the third time in a century, Sedgefield Racecourse narrowly avoided closure.
Northern Racing purchased Sedgefield Racecourse in 2001 and began immediately investing in refurbishments. Northern Racing continue to own the course too this day and have so far managed to avoid any undue controversy or threats of closure!
The Main Races and Events Held at The Course
The biggest event of the annual racing schedule at Sedgefield Racecourse is undoubtedly The Durham National Handicap Chase, a steeplechase run every October across the unusual distance of three and three-quarter miles. This was notably won in recent years by Fatehalkhair, who went on to win 20 races – 13 of them over jumps at Sedgefield! Fatehalkhair was a cast-off from one of the major (but as such unnamed) flat racing tables.
The Racecourse Map
The course is left handed and undulating in nature. It is known as having easy fences and a low number of fallers. It is a pretty fair track and positions don’t tend to change much after the final jump as the run-in is short. Conditions can get testing in the winter months.
Sedgefield Racecourse Address
The official racecourse address is:
How To Get To Sedgefield Racecourse
- By road – Sedgefield Racecourse is a five-minute drive from Junction 60 off the A1 and is well signposted from there.
- By train – the nearest train stations are Darlington and Durham, both about a 20-minute drive away from the course and well-served by local taxis.
- By air – helicopter landing facilities at Sedgefield Racecourse are available by prior arrangement, but are rarely used. Durham Teeside International Airport is also about a 20-minute drive from the course.
Hotels near Sedgefield Racecourse
The village of Sedgefield packs a punch accommodation wise for its size, with several options on offer for those visiting the racecourse and looking to stay over. The Travelodge Sedgefield is an easy budget option with rooms starting at less than £30, and in the village itself you’ll find two brilliant bistro pubs who both offer rooms – The Pickled Parson of Sedgefield and The Impeccable Pig. If you’re really looking to blow the budget and go all out, the nearby Hardwick Hall Hotel has rooms at around the £400-500 mark and is truly a beautiful place to stay.
If you’re already travelling in to Sedgefield Racecourse from Durham or Darlington, you’ll find plenty of hotel options in both towns. We always recommend checking out options via Booking.com who often have great offers and availability:
Best Sedgefield Races Betting Sites
At British Racecourses we often recommend betting online and via apps. This is because you can often get the best odds, great offers when signing up and you can place bets quickly and safely without having to queue.
If you are looking to bet online we recommend the following great deals with some amazing offers for new customers:
Betting Shops Local to Sedgefield Racecourse
Sedgefield Racecourse has Tote betting facilities in all of its bars and restaurants, and a tarmac betting ring situated outside of the Paxton Stand for independent bookmakers. Due to the rural nature of the course’s location, free Wi-Fi is available throughout the venue to allow for online betting. The nearest traditional bookies shop to Sedgefield Racecourse is Chisholm Bookmakers, a local independent family-run company in Sedgefield village itself. There are, however, plenty of big-name brand betting shops in nearby Darlington and Durham.
Current Sedgefield Weather Forecast
Punters and race-goers love to keep up with the weather to predict going conditions, as well as making sure what they wear is suitable. Here’s the current weather forecast for Sedgefield:
Other Events Held at the Racecourse
Sedgefield Racecourse is home to many other smaller races as well as non-racing events, but part of the fun forming its reputation is its themed racedays. In the past these have included 1920s themed race days, which saw everyone attend dressed in retro clothing and accessories, with themed menus from the on-site restaurants to match and an annual Oktoberfest day which attracted many lederhosen and lots of European beer tasting! Upcoming plans include a Christmas Jumper themed day and traditional Boxing Day racing.
Summary of Sedgefield Racing
A fab small northern racecourse, Sedgefield packs a punch with competitive racing and a reputation as a great day out. The high-light of their season is undoubtedly the Durham National but this track is worth a visit at any time of year. Popular with locals and a part of the community, you’ll be made to feel welcome with good food, hospitality and cheap entry fees. It’s a course we like a lot and definitely worth a visit – possibly a long weekend break there? Enjoy!
Other Racecourses in the UK and Ireland
Our team as of January 2021 have reviewed the other following racecourses, all of them definitely worth a visit:
- Aintree Racecourse Guide
- Ascot Races
- Ayr Racecourse Guide
- Bangor on Dee Racecourse Guide
- Bath Racecourse Guide
- Beverley Racecourse Guide
- Brighton Racecourse Guide
- Carlisle Racecourse Guide
- Cartmel Racecourse Guide
- Catterick Racecourse Guide
- Chelmsford City Racecourse Guide
- Cheltenham Racecourse Guide
- Chepstow Racecourse Guide
- Chester Racecourse Guide
- Doncaster Racecourse Guide
- Epsom Racecourse Guide
- Exeter Racecourse Guide
- Fakenham Racecourse Guide
- Ffos Las Racecourse Guide
- Fontwell Racecourse Guide
- Goodwood Racecourse Guide
- Great Yarmouth Racecourse Guide
- Hamilton Racecourse Guide
- Haydock Racecourse Guide
- Hereford Racecourse Guide
- Hexham Racecourse Guide
- Huntingdon Racecourse Guide
- Kelso Racecourse Guide
- Kempton Park Racecourse Guide
- Leicester Racecourse Guide
- Lingfield Park Racecourse Guide
- Ludlow Racecourse Guide
- Market Rasen Racecourse Guide
- Musselburgh Racecourse Guide
- Newbury Racecourse Guide
- Newcastle Racecourse Guide
- Newmarket Racecourse Guide
- Newton Abbot Racecourse Guide
- Nottingham Racecourse Guide
- Perth Racecourse Guide
- Plumpton Racecourse Guide
- Pontefract Racecourse Guide
- Redcar Racecourse Guide
- Ripon Racecourse Guide
- Salisbury Racecourse Guide
- Sandown Racecourse Guide
- Sedgefield Racecourse Guide
- Southwell Racecourse Guide
- Stratford Racecourse Guide
- Taunton Racecourse Guide
- Thirsk Racecourse Guide
- Towcester Racecourse
- Uttoxeter Racecourse Guide
- Warwick Racecourse Guide
- Wetherby Racecourse Guide
- Wincanton Racecourse Guide
- Windsor Racecourse Guide
- Wolverhampton Racecourse Guide
- Worcester Racecourse Guide
- York Races