Though dismissed by some casual racing fans as a course not producing high-quality action, Hexham Racecourse is one of the most picturesque courses anywhere in Britain.
The track sites high up in Northumberland, near to Hexham and not so very far away from Newcastle. It hosts National Hunt meetings only, both in the peak jumps winter season and in the warmer months.
- Address – Hexham Racecourse, High Yarridge, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 4PF.
- Owner – Hexham and Northern Marts.
- TV Station – Sky Sports Racing.
- Type – National Hunt.
- Surface – Turf.
The jumps track at Hexham is left-handed, undulating, lovely to look at and features a stiff climb from the end of the back straight all the way up to the finish line.
Hurdle events are often run steadily enough as jockeys know what is required, though a horse kicking for home too far out will often come a cropper. There is a stiff old finish here and it catches plenty of horses out.
With that in mind, and bearing in mind both Carlisle to the west and Newcastle to the east also have stiff finishes, don’t dismiss lightly local trainers and regular visitors who know what it takes to win around Hexham.
While the layout of the track tests horses out, the fences are pretty easy in truth. Should your horse be of reasonable quality and the rider be professional, you shouldn’t overtly worry about jumping but simply about staying.
Jockey feedback regarding Hexham is generally very popular, though not enough of the top riders get to go there very often at all, save for Brian Hughes.
The track is considered to be a fair one among National Hunt jocks, though they tend to have to ride it differently depending on how the ground is. As is the case with many tracks, it can be very testing indeed at Hexham when the rain comes and so extreme patience and coolness is required.
The undulations up on the Northumberland moors can catch plenty out as well and they are another reason horses need to see out the entire trip. A horse that just about gets three miles elsewhere will most likely be outstayed around here over that distance.
Visiting Hexham Racecourse
Those coming in for a day’s racing here should take time to walk around nearby Corbridge and Hexham, the latter an extremely attractive market town featuring a beautiful abbey.
Hadrian’s Wall is also close by, while those looking for some city action can be in Newcastle in under half an hour too.
How to Get to Hexham Racecourse
The train station at Hexham is right down in the town, around a 2½-mile journey and under ten minutes away by taxi.
The train line sits on the Newcastle-Carlisle route, essentially linking together the West Coast and East Coast Mainline routes, meaning connections from anywhere in the country are possible. Newcastle Airport is only half an hour away by car.
Although the racecourse sits near a B-road, it is only around three miles or so south of the A69 which links Newcastle and Carlisle.
From the west, follow the A69, turning off to the right for the B6305. The racecourse is signposted from here. From the east, the Newcastle area, head west on the A69, turning left onto the same B6305 road and following the signs.
Hexham Racecourse also provides courtesy buses on race days. Two buses are run from Hexham Rail Station and Hexham Bus Station, returning to the same places. This is on a first come, first served basis.
Where to Stay
There are some beautiful B&B’s, rental properties and boutique hotels in Northumberland, in and around the Hexham area.
Given how easy the commute is however, you can stay in Newcastle just 20 miles away and there you will find an abundance of available rooms in the city centre, on the Quayside, in Jesmond and elsewhere.
Hexham Racecourse Fixtures
|Wednesday||13th Dec 2023||Afternoon||Jump / Turf|
Best Races at Hexham
There are no top-class events run at Hexham, though these are the best events put on by what is a beautiful and professional racecourse:
|Handicap Hurdle||3yo+, Handicap Hurdle, Class 3||2m4f||October|
|Handicap Hurdle||4yo+, Handicap Hurdle, Class 3||2m7½f||October|
|Novices’ Chase||5yo+, Novices’ Chase, Class 3||2m4f||April|
|Heart of All England Trophy||5yo+, Maiden Hunters’ Chase, Class 4||3m||May|
|Handicap Hurdle||4yo+, Handicap Hurdle, Class 3||2m||May|
|Novices’ Chase||5yo+, Novices’ Chase, Class 3||3m||June|
|Novices’ Hurdle||4yo+, Novices’ Hurdle, Class 3||2m||June|
|Novices’ Chase||5yo+, Novices’ Chase, Class 3||2m4f||June|
|Handicap Hurdle||4yo+, Handicap Hurdle, Class 3||2m4f||June|
|Handicap Hurdle||4yo+, Handicap Hurdle, Class 3||2m7½f||June|
|Novices’ Chase||5yo+, Novices’ Chase, Class 3||1m7½f||June|
About Hexham Racecourse
There are records to show that Hexham Racecourse hosted its first horse racing fixture on April 23, 1890. According to available documents, there were six races on the card and 31 horses took part.
That’s the official line as regards professional racing as we know it, however a form of the sport has been taking place at this site since at least 1793.
It was only in 1890 however that Charles Henderson, a businessman local to Hexham, created a proper racecourse, eventually buying up the land in 1907.
That year, the Heart of All England Cup was inaugurated and now the race lends its name to a maiden hunter chase race – perhaps it is deserving of a better contest?
Though many racecourses closed during the two World Wars, Hexham continued though was utilised during WWII for ammunition storage.
The Henderson family maintained an interest in Hexham Racecourse, and in 1990 Charles Henderson’s great grandson took over the running of the track and did so until 2016.
At that point, the track was bought by Hexham and Northern Marts who continue to independently run the course and the associated facilities.