Fakenham Racecourse is a horse racing course found in Fakenham, Norfolk, England. The course is left-handed and almost square in shape. Fakenham Racecourse has a total circumference of around one mile. The steeplechase course is located on the outer side of the hurdle course. The course has six fences per unit with an open ditch serving as the second last obstacle.
The first racing was held at Fakenham Racecourse on Easter Monday after a committee decision of West Norfolk Hunt decided to transfer their meetings from East Winch, which is near King’s Lynn. They had held meetings there since 1884 but the continual heavy going made them to make a decision to look for a more suitable site with lighter soil and in their quest they discover Fakenham. The first racing took place on Easter Monday of 1905 and attracted 37 runners.
Bearing in mind the transport difficulties during those times, that was a great support that saw the races transferred to the Fakenham Racecourse. The meetings were held once per year on Easter Monday. However they were forced breaks to the meetings during the war years. In 1926, a hurdle race was introduced since steeplechase races had reduced in numbers. A three mile steeplechase was introduced. After the World War II, racing in the Fakenham Racecourse resumed in 1947.
The new meeting added to the normal Easter Monday racing gave a total of two meetings per year. The initial Grandstand in the course was built in 1953 where the paddock was enlarged and the Paddock together with the Parade Ring was moved. The Fakenham Racecourse was improved in 1965 after the formation of the Fakenham Racecourse Ltd that helped the course survive closure threats.
Annual meetings were increased from 2 to 5 after the first meeting under the new leadership was on a misty and wet Saturday in autumn of 1965. Just the way the West Norfolk West Winch had been honoured by the Royal Patronage in the UK, so continued the Fakenham Racecourse. The Fakenham Racecourse has always had Royal patronage from Prince of Wales and later to King Edward II then Queen Elizabeth who was the patron for over 50 years then handed the reins to the Prince of Wales in the year 2000.
The 1 million Euro members’ stand was name after His Royal Highness as “The Prince of Wales Stand” and was launched by Prince of Wales on 15th March 2002. The past two decades have seen many successful projects on the course. There have been a number of successions of clerks from John Knight to Ted Chapman to the current one David Hunter.
Fakenham Racecourse has very welcoming staff and do not have any strict dress code. The course has an ample parking space and viewing areas for the disabled.