Ludlow

Hoofing It

Circuit

Ludlow

Race Types

Flat, Hurdles, Fences

Approx no. of meetings

approx. 18

Getting There

Rail from London (3 hour,10 minutes from Paddington, changing at Crewe)

Bus from (From Hereford and Shrewsbury on race days)

Railway station to Racecourse (Freee bus from Ludlow train station, based on racecourse website)

Taxis plentiful in town.

Website

http://www.ludlowracecourse.co.uk/

Facilities

There are four stands, which are a variety of ages from the original Victorian (1878 we are told) through to the more modern stands, once of which was opened in 2005.  There are a couple of food outlets and two main bars alongside a premium restaurant and a lounge for group dining, alongside boxes.

Staying over

As we were on a four-day horse break, we overnighted at Worcester.

Tickets

There were three types of ticket on the day, club, grandstand, and centre course enclosure.

Rating

Rating: (1) Return after challenge complete, due to the distance from home.

The Day

11 October 2017– UK Tracks Visited (36), Irish Tracks Visited (3)

This track is something of a conundrum.  It is, I should start with an incredibly friendly track filled with helpful staff and great locals.  I guess that is the thing, I felt like there were more locals than visitors.  In fact, Madam Hoof and I felt distinctly in a minority, but this might simply be as this was a mid-week meeting and the weather was just for once not perfect.  Although not a full-on monsoon, there was periodic drizzle which managed for most of the day to hide the scenery.  When the surrounding hills and countryside momentarily came into view they were spectacular and worth another visit.


The Course itself is rather impressive even if you remove the scenery.  A flexible set up with both hurdles and jumps.  The uphill section at the far side was a challenge to the horse stamina and most of the course was visible from the stands. However, this was augmented by an excellent repeater screen which also showed the action from other courses.


The stands themselves should have a paragraph all of their own.  The original stand which we believe was from 1878 has an iconic cast iron framework and an incredibly beautiful shape.   There is only a small seated area in the stand, but as most of it is covered it provides excellent coverage from the elements.  As in fact does the separate small grandstand in the centre enclosure.  The other feature that should be mentioned is that rather, like the track at Kelso, there is a viewing area on top of the stands which gave a very different viewpoint on racing and is an amazing facility.


As I have said, there are many good things about the track, but there are also a few things that feel not as polished are in line with some of the others we have visited.  The bars were understaffed and inefficiently run and there were not enough food options or outlets.   These are minor points, but I feel that more investment in facilities would made a better overall experience and encourage more visitors from across the country.


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