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Kiplingcotes Derby

Kiplingcotes Derby is widely accepted to be the oldest annual horse race in the English sporting calendar. It reputedly began in 1519 and takes place on the third Thursday in March, often in exceptionally adverse weather conditions. The 490th race was held on 19 March 2009 and the 2010 event took place on 18 March.[1][2]

The Kiplingcotes (also spelled Kipling Cotes) race is the oldest in England having taken place every year since 1519. It is run every spring. One quirk of the ancient rules means the second place rider usually receives more in prize money than the winner. It might not look much like a proper racecourse but the clerk is only paid 5 shillings a year for maintaining it.



Kiplingcotes is a small hamlet close to Market Weighton, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The Derby starts near to Kiplingcotes railway station (now closed) and finishes at Londesborough Wold Farm.


  • The course takes in four miles of arduous farm track and field.
  • Riders must weigh in at ten stones, excluding saddle, and horses of any age can be ridden.
  • All those wishing to enter must gather by the starting post by 11 a.m. on the morning of the Derby.
  • The winner receives the sum of £50. (However, sometimes it may prove advantageous to come second, as this rider is the lucky recipient of the sum of the entry fees.)
  • The rules also state that if the race is not run one year then it must never be run again.

During the harsh winter of 1947 no one was daring enough to take part and so one local farmer took it upon himself to lead a lone horse around the course, ensuring that the historic race would survive.[3] During the 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis the race was once again reduced to one horse and rider.


  1. "Maisey triumphs at Kiplingcotes Derby - England's oldest horse race". Beverley Guardian. Johnston Press Digital Publishing. 19 March 2008. http://www.beverleyguardian.co.uk/country-and-farming-shows-events/Maisey-triumphs-at-Kiplingcotes-Derby.5090138.jp. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  2. "The 'Local' Race - The Kiplingcotes Derby". Wicstun. 24 March 2010. http://www.wicstun.com/derby2010.html. Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  3. Ellerington, Alison (1989). The Kiplingcotes Derby. Hyperion Books. ISBN 978-0948929328. 

External links

Coordinates: Template:Coord/input/dec


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