Stratford-on-Avon, commonly referred to as Stratford-upon-Avon, is a small-jumps racecourse located in the parish town by the same name within the landlocked county of Warwickshire, West Midlands, England. It is owned by the Stratford-on-Avon Racecourse company, with action televised on At The races.
The course has been in operation since 1755. Racing was initially held in a meadow without much control of the racing area. This led to a complaint by farmers to the local council about ruin to crops during races, causing a closure threat. The races stopped for close to a century, only resuming in 1839 in a more organised structure.
Much of the improvement on the current course was done after 1950, during which a grandstand and decent restaurants came up. More land was bough to open up the borders of the circuit in 1969, and a water jump introduced just outside the stands.
The racing circuit is a triangle with soft edges. It is relatively flat and wide, but there are sharp turns at short intervals requiring skill and concentration to be at best during races.
It is considered a small course, although it does contain Touring Park within its borders where there is a 192-grass-pitch campsite. At the middle is the larger area used for rallies and other events. June’s Motorhome and Caravan car show and August’s Blue Rodeo and Camra Beer Festival are standout events here.
Access by road or rail is most ideal. The town’s railway station is a short five-minute cab journey, and under half an hour by foot.
There are 18 race meetings on Stratford’s calendar fixture. Chase races are most common here, consequently earning the course the title ‘home of Hunter-Chasing.’ May’s Intrum Justita Champion Hunters Chase is arguably the most popular race at the course. The Garrick Jubilee Cup,Corbet Cup and the Roddy Baker Gold Cup are also popular races here.
Races at Stratford are held between March and November.