Chelmsford Racecourse is located in England near Chelmsford, Essex at Great Leighs. It is a flat Polytrack racecourse owned by Betfred. It was opened in April 2008 making it the first racecourse to be opened in the UK after Taunton which was opened in 1927. Between 2009 and 2015 there was no racing held here as the racecourse was on administration and after it’s opening later, 54 fixtures have been organized.
Opening and Suspension of Racing
The planned opening of the racecourse scheduled for October, 2006 was deferred a number of times. It was not until April 2008 that the racecourse was able to host its first racing event. This event received praises by spectators on the racing equipment and lots of criticism on the quality of visitor facility.
In January 2009, Chelmsford Racecourse has its racing license revoked and was put used administration. It was announced in 2009 that the bids put forward to put back races on the course were not sufficient. The administrators suggested looking for assistance from the Royal Bank of Scotland to have the bank take over its ownership and get an established race course company take over its management. Terry Chambers, a local businessman, later leased the racecourse for a period of 18 months. He was however not able to get a racing license making him unable to bid for fixtures for the year 2010.
Chambers and Bill Gredley declared an interest in buying the racecourse in 2009 hoping that they would get fixtures for 2011. The deal didn’t materialize and in 2011 the racecourse administrators declared their inability to sell the it and started a discussion on how different the site could be put into use with the Royal Bank of Scotland. The racecourse was eventually bought by MC Racetracks in November 2011 but was not allowed by British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to host fixtures in 2013 but was advised to apply for 2014 fixtures. Even after the application was made, the racecourse was not allowed to hold fixtures in 2014.
It was later reported that there was a syndicated of buying the track by Fred Done, the Betfred’s proprietor with an aim of seeking fixtures for 2015. BHA, however, announced later that Great Leighs could apply for a license to host races in 2015. It was announced that Great Leighs would be allocated 12 fixtures for 2015, but no guarantee was given that it could get an all-weather fixtures expansion.
When the 2015 fixture was published, the offer was increased to 58 meetings. The course was reopened on January 11, 2015, and the reopening ceremony was graced by over 800 people who were invited. The full reopening was done on January 22, and the first race was won Tryster.
Chelmsford Racecourse has endured many challenges that have taken it many years to overcome. These challenges act as a strong foundation on which it is built. To ensure that it doesn’t go back to its dark days, the management has ensured that they give you the best ranging from races, the restaurant, and sports bar.
Annual membership is very affordable as it is only £1280.The race course has great potential and has reopened with a new aim of putting its name on top of UK horse racing titles.