Despite a rich history going back to 1771 Hereford Racecourse has closed. The square shaped course covers a circuit that is almost one mile and a half, the course was modernised in the 1960’s enabling Hereford to stage National Hunt racing throughout the year.
The Course has been dogged in recent years by poor attendances, ARC the company that own Hereford Racecourse have indicated that the races which were held on the course will continue at other venues.
It would appear that the main reason for closure was the Council’s failure to agree an extension to the remainder of the 17 year lease which ARC required to enable it to make the much needed investment to the track and facilities.
Whatever the reasons this is a great loss to the racing circuit and perhaps a warning of things to come, the Levy which has for many years subsidised courses such as Hereford has been cut, making these fringe courses totally unviable.
There are several companies interested in buying Hereford racecourse but with ARC holding the racing rights nothing can happen for at least a year. The company which runs Chester and Bangor racecourses is rumoured to have expressed interest in taking over at Hereford, along with a consortium headed by John Williams, the Hereford track’s former clerk of the course.
Williams has stated “There’s no question that there is a future for Hereford,” “The important date is around the end of March next year, when you need to apply for fixtures for the following year. If a new company is not in place by mid March at the latest, they are not going to be able to get 2014 fixtures.”
Let’s hope this famous old course isn’t lost to history, for former Hereford race goers Worcester is now probably your nearest racecourse.