Located one mile to the northeastern part of Brighton in West Sussex, Brighton Racecourse belongs to the Arena Racing Company. The colorful history of this fine English racecourse stretches back to over three centuries. While credible documentary evidence attests to the fact that sporting events were already happening at Brighton Racecourse as early as 1713, the very first public competitions didn’t take place until 1783. Again, chronological facts provide strong clues that the initial horse riding occasions involved members of the armed forces garrisoned here in the formative years of the racecourse. Nonetheless, civilian members of the neighboring community are also likely to have participated in these preliminary fixtures.
Legend has it that George IV, during his reign as Prince of Wales, initiated hurdle races at the then fledgling Brighton Racecourse. The royal figure was taking a casual ride around the area in the company of his aristocratic mates when he discovered the amazing facility. The initial grandstand was erected at Brighton Racecourse in 1788 and was widely considered somewhat stylish according to the architectural models of the day. However, this structure was set ablaze shortly after and burned to ashes in puzzling circumstances that at once baffled the top patrons of this amenity. Nevertheless, further investigations revealed that the inferno was deliberately started by the poor squatters who had been allowed to live on the facility’s land.
Around 1805, gaming activities at Brighton were disrupted as unresolved issues emerged between the management and the proprietor who had leased the land on which the racecourse stood. In fact, the clearly infuriated landlord threatened to plough the horse riding ground if he was not given his usual gratifying gift of wine. Apparently, he had previously enjoyed the customary drink every other season before and was now evidently disappointed that the singular gesture of well-deserved appreciation was unjustifiably revoked.
However, he was chased off by a wrathful press gang as he attempted his absurd threats. After the difficult landowner was fully restrained, racing functions resumed in earnest. It is not clear to the present generation of Brighton Racecourse sporting enthusiasts how the farmer’s rather cheap terms were met or otherwise peaceably renegotiated. Nonetheless, it is legendarily held that he must have had the retracted favor reinstated as no further similar disruptions were ever again experienced at the Sussex sporting site.
During the first few years after the racecourse won the admiration of the Welsh prince, it was principally used a favorite spot for the most fashionable races. However, it later drifted to the earlier status after the royal patron and his top classmates stopped frequenting the facility. Fortunately, railway transportation reached Brighton in 1850 and gave larger numbers of fans access to the middling racecourse. Statistics show that the introduction of railway infrastructure made it possible for fans and guests to tour the racecourse from far away cities such as London and others. As a result of this possible revenue boost, the quality of key infrastructures profoundly improved within less than a year after the very first train docked in Brighton.
In fact, the racing field registered up to 20,000 fans after the second global war. With modish grandstands on either side of the home straight, Brighton was popularly considered to be one of the finest English sporting sites of the late 1800s. This relative fame continued into the first and middle decades of the 20th century. For instance, the racecourse established striking fame when it launched the Derby Trial in the 1960s. Holding a couple of other ubiquitously liked fixtures every year and continually enhancing its structural amenities, Brighton Racecourse has surpassed the bar mark to emerge as a leading world-class sporting behemoth that we see and hear of presently.
Currently, Brighton Racecourse still ranks among the very best equine racing establishments not only in the United Kingdom but also throughout the world. Despite being in the league of smaller’ horse riding facilities in the country, it indeed makes it into the coveted category of the greatest sporting arenas in terms of events quality. One of the good reasons for the arena’s steady fame and structural advancement is the existence of a capable executive body. In fact, Brighton is said to enjoy the rare managerial acumen of some of the most respected global names in the world of equestrian gaming.*
Visit Brighton racecourse website here.