|Hereford to hold last ever meeting on Sunday 16 December 2012|
Northern Racing & Arena Leisure announced yesterday that 241 years of racing history at Hereford are to come to end this December. The shock news was accompanied by the decision that Folkestone also faces temporary closure.
Supporters of the Hereford Racecourse immediately swung into action to try to reverse the decision with an online petition to the owners of the course Herefordshire Council and the operators Northern Racing:
Northern racing have blamed the closure on not being able to extend the lease held with the Council (which still has 17 years to run) and on a lack of sufficient income. The local authority claimed that the announcement yesterday was the first that they had heard of the decision to close. Reasons a side Crockford believes that this is a sad day for racing with Hereford the first real victim of closure since Stockton back in 1981. Hereford has never rivalled Cheltenham or Ascot, but has held good fixtures since racing first took place in 1771. In 1983 Bregawn and Gaye Brief both had preparation races on their way to success at the Cheltenham Festival. The last fixture is planned for Sunday 16 December. Crockford plans to be in attendance but hopes that in the meantime the course gets a reprieve.
Photograph – Main Grandstand Hereford by Jonathan Billinger (creative commons)