Kiplingcotes Derby (also spelt Kipling Cotes), run at Kiplingcotes in the East Riding of Yorkshire, is widely accepted to be the oldest annual horse race in the English sporting calendar. It reputedly began in 1519 and takes place on the third Thursday in March, often in exceptionally adverse weather conditions. The 500th race took place on 21 March 2019.
One quirk of the ancient rules means that the second place rider often receives more in prize money than the winner. It is run, not over a typical modern racecourse, but partly along the wide verge of a roadside. A clerk is paid 5 shillings (25p) annually for maintaining it.
|499th||2018||15 March||[Note 1]|
- The course takes in 4 miles (6.4 km) of arduous farm track and field.
- Riders must weigh in at 10 stone (140 lb; 64 kg) (excluding saddle).
- Horses of any age can be ridden.
- All those wishing to enter must gather by the starting post by 11 a.m. on the morning of the Derby.
- The winner receives the sum of £50, but the rider finishing second receives the remainder of the total of the entry fees.
- The rules also state that if the race is not run one year, then it must never be run again.
During the harsh winter of 1947, no one was daring enough to take part, and so one local farmer took it upon himself to lead a lone horse around the course, ensuring that the historic race would survive. During the 2001 UK foot-and-mouth crisis the race was once again reduced to one horse and rider. In 2018 the race was cancelled after the course was waterlogged, and again a single horse was led round the course.
- Race was cancelled due to dangerous conditions (a waterlogged course with deep water-filled wheel ruts). A horse was walked round the course to preserve the race.
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- "Famous Kiplingcotes Derby is abandoned due to waterlogged course". Pocklington News. 14 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- Ellerington, Alison (1989). The Kiplingcotes Derby. Hyperion Books. ISBN 978-0-948929-32-8.
- Ross, Alex (20 March 2015). "Double joy for Kiplingcoates Derby couple". Gazette & Herald. Retrieved 22 March 2016.