Bogside Racecourse

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Bogside Racecourse
Location Irvine, Ayrshire
Coordinates 55°37′41″N 4°42′35″W / 55.62806°N 4.70972°W / 55.62806; -4.70972
Owned by Defunct
Date opened 7 June 1808
Date closed 10 April 1965
Course type Flat
National Hunt
Notable races Scottish Grand National

Bogside Racecourse was a horse racing track situated in Irvine, Scotland, on the banks of the River Irvine. Its first meeting was held on 7 June 1808, and its last on 10 April 1965,[1] although there is evidence of an event known as the Irvine Marymass Races in the area as far back as 1636, initiated by the Earl of Eglinton.[2]

Bogside's flat course was an undulating, right-handed triangular course of two miles in length.[1][3] Its jumps course, meanwhile, was two and a half miles round, with nine plain fences, two open ditches and one water jump.[3] It was here that the first steeplechase recorded in Scotland took place on 25 April 1839.[2]

During its existence it hosted the Scottish Grand National (now contested at nearby Ayr) and twice hosted the National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup which now takes place at the Cheltenham Festival. Its other major race was the Bogside Cup.

Among the most notable achievements at the course was jockey Alec Russell riding all six winners in a day on 19 July 1957.[4][5]

For a short time the racecourse had its own railway station, Bogside Racecourse.

In 1963, the Levy Board opted to cease funding the course, declaring 'When Ayr is developed as the main Scottish course, racing under both rules, the retention of Bogside, only 12 miles away, cannot be economically justified'.[5] Racing at Bogside ceased soon thereafter.

Point-to-Point meetings took place at Bogside until 1994, and evidence of the former racecourse still remains.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Bogside Racecourse". Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Early Races". Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Bogside Racecourse". Secret Scotland. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Remnants of the Past: Bogside Racecourse". The Apprentice Jockey blog. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Lost Racecourses 2: The Elephant Man". Retrieved 11 April 2013.