Taunton Racecourse is located in the countryside area of Orchard Portman in Taunton town of Somerset County, South West England. It is a National Hunt type course owned by Taunton Racecourse Limited, with races televised on At The Races.
Taunton is the youngest jump track in England, but is just shy of a century’s existence. It came into operation in 1927, and remained the youngest track of all types in England until 2008, when Great Leighs was opened. The Shoreditch Selling Hurdle was the inaugural race at the course, and was won by Mr. Rayson’s Baalbek.
The course hosts jump races only, meaning it is only active at the start and close of the year. It is a right handed track, 1-mile 2-furlongs long dotted with fences and ditches. It has no complication to it, just a long straight on each side of sharp turns.
Dress code is only strictly enforced in the members’ area, although racegoers are advised to have comfort wear for long hours of standings. A great view of the Blackwood Hills can be had from the course. There is a courtesy bus that ferries visitors to and from the railway station one hour before the first race and 30 minutes after racing ends.
The track hosts around 15 race meetings a year. It’s sharp bends call for agility in the competing horse, and makes it an ideal warm up track for major jump races. The Totepool Autum, Totepool Christmas and the St Patricks day are headline races at the Taunton.
Tony McCoy the legendary jockey who rode a record 4358 winning horses, is now based at the Taunton, where he is an assistant trainer to Martin Pipe.
The facilities at Taunton are used for activities like conferences and concerts when racing is not in session. The June 11 2017 UB40 concert at the park, with Billy Ocean as a special act, is one of the venue’s most publicised non race events.