In 2018 Worcester Racecourse is celebrating its 300-year anniversary, making it one of the oldest racecourses in the UK. The first race meeting hosted at the site in the heart of Worcester City Centre, known as ‘Pitchcroft’, took place on 27 June 1718.
To celebrate, this historic milestone a special edition anniversary book ‘PITCHCROFT: 300 YEARS OF RACING IN WORCESTER’ has been written and is on sale now. From fist fights to first fights, floods to firm favourites, author Chris Pitt takes the reader galloping through the colourful history of Worcester Racecourse, chronicling the events, the people and the equine stars that made their contribution during 300 years of racing at Pitchcroft.
As racing returns to Worcester this week, on Thursday 10 May for the Season Opener fixture, there will be an official book launch before racing with author Chris Pitt sharing some of his highlights from the book, as well as being available to sign copies of any books purchased on the day.
Acclaimed local author and racing historian Chris Pitt wrote the book ‘Pitchcroft: 300 Years of Racing in Worcester’ to mark the anniversary, which is available to buy through the Racecourse.
Chris Pitt said: “Having previously written books about closed racecourses, it’s been a refreshing change to tell the story of one that’s very much alive. It has also been a genuine pleasure to chronicle the events, the people and the horses that together weave the tapestry of 300 years of racing in Worcester. Pitchcroft has a colourful and varied history and I’ve enjoyed bringing it to life.”
Executive Director of Worcester Racecourse, Jenny Cheshire, said: “We are hugely excited about the 2018 season and celebrating our special anniversary year with the local community, local businesses, the racing industry and our customers who have shown us so much support over the years. As one of the oldest racecourses in the UK we want to mark the occasion with a series of events throughout the year, starting with the book launch on our Season Opener Raceday on Thursday. Chris has written a fascinating book taking us on a journey from the first race in 1718 right through to the present day, with many facts and stories that have surprised and enthralled us all. I am very much looking forward to sharing these stories with our customers and friends of the racecourse when racing returns to Worcester on 10 May.”
In addition to the book launch, on Wednesday 4 July 2018 at the 300 Year Anniversary Raceday, the Racecourse are reviving the historic Worcester Grand Annual Steeple Chase which was first run in March 1836. This race produced a number of famous horses, including the 1853 Worcester Grand Annual, won by Bourton, who went on to win the Grand National at Aintree in 1854. After 85 years of absence since the last running of the Worcester Grand Annual in 1933, this historic steeple chase will be the feature race on this anniversary raceday.
To purchase ‘PITCHCROFT: 300 YEARS OF RACING AT WORCESTER’ email email@example.com or call the Racecourse office on 01905 253 64. Books are priced at £13.99 and can be collected from the Racecourse office, or alternatively postage is an additional £2.