Fontwell Park Racecourse was founded by Alfred Day, a significant contributor to the rich history of horse racing in the United Kingdom. Mr Day was an outstandingly keen trainer of horses before the idea of beginning the international facility crossed his mind. Attached to The Hermitage horse training station from 1887, the ingenuous man has been celebrated for establishing one of England’s most influential racing sites.
The name “Fontwell” had not been in use for quite some time but brought it back to use at the time of the facility’s construction. Researching the history of the location and its surrounds, Alfred Day gathered enough popularity and money to purchase land to set up Fontwell Racecourse.
The hurdles course was laid out in an “8” shape in order to make better use of the limited space available. With these structural preparations in place, the first meeting was organised shortly after. Taking place on 21 May 1924, the inaugural meeting drew both wide publicity and attendance from the Sussex populous and surrounding communities. The first racing competition was won by a then famous jockey Fred Rees, on a horse nicknamed “Gem”.
Fontwell Racecourse has enjoyed a steady wave of recognition for many reasons. First, this is the place where Queen Elizabeth II won her first race as a horse owner when the then well-known rider, Monaveen, prevailed. The as yet uncrowned Princess Elizabeth’s victory in the 1949 Chichester Chase was a landmark that gave Fontwell racecourse prominence throughout Europe and the world.
Again, the racecourse found widespread fame when John Francome rode his 1,036th career winner on the grounds. This record far outstripped the longstanding National Hunt achievement set by Stan Mellor, an equally renowned jockey of international repute. John Francome is thus said to have contributed to the countrywide standings which the racecourse amenity presently enjoys. However, Francome’s auspicious track record has since been subsequently beaten by many title-winning jockeys.
Fontwell has continued to attract thousands of racegoers from Britain and the entire world. Owing to the exquisite dining and accommodation facilities available, racegoers from all over the globe have continued to enjoy Fontwell Park. Visiting guests and trainers are advised to contact the racecourse’s management for access and entry directions. First-time visitors may also visit the official website for additional information regarding Fontwell’s regarding access and admission.*
Visit Fontwell website here.