Ludlow Racecourse Guide

The Finishing Post at Ludlow
The Finishing Post at Ludlow (Peter Evans /

The Shropshire-based racecourse of Ludlow sits surrounded by pleasant countryside just north east of the market town of Ludlow. A town famous poet, John Betjeman, described as ‘probably the loveliest town in England’.

It usually holds 18 jump fixtures per year running between October and May and it proclaims to be one of Britain’s friendliest racecourses, with some justification.

Jump to: Course | Races | Useful Info | History


Swap Start/End

The Course

The oval-shaped course at Ludlow is a sharp one which is around a mile and a half in length. The track with the fences is sharper than the hurdles track however as it’s on a tighter oval that doesn’t stretch as far away from the stand. Ability to take the corners effectively is a key attribute here and it’s also a track that favours the speedier types.

Aside from the corners, Ludlow doesn’t offer much of a challenge to the runners and riders who come here. The undulations on the hurdles track are minor and the fences on the chase course are comparatively easy to get over. With the fences low, being able to jump them quickly rather than hanging in the air can often make the difference in tightly contested races.

Major Races

February’s Forbra Gold Challenge Cup is the star event at Ludlow. The three mile handicap chase is named after Forbra, the 50/1 winner of the 1932 Grand National. He spent much of his career in the Kinnersley Stables near Worcester, fairly close by to Ludlow and his owner, Mr William Parsonage was a commission agent based in the town.


Ludlow Grandstand
Ludlow Grandstand (nick macneill /

The vast majority of meetings at Ludlow fall in midweek during the afternoon, and there are usually only a couple of exceptions per year to this.

Useful Info

Dress Code

In the Grandstand and Paddock and Course Enclosure you will be fine wearing most items of clothing and there as there is no dress code enforced. In the Members Enclosure and hospitality areas, however, there are rules in place which prohibit vests, sports shirts, ripped jeans and shorts being worn.

Ticket Prices

Ludlow doesn’t yet offer advance purchases for individuals so all admission tickets must be purchased on the day at the gate. Each race day costs the same and in the Course Enclosure entry is £10, in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure it is £17 and Members Enclosure access can be purchased for £22.

Under 18s receive free entry when accompanied by an adult. Bookings for restaurant packages can be made in advance by emailing the racecourse directly and prices start at £54.50.


£235 is the cost of annual membership at Ludlow, giving you access to all of Ludlow’s fixtures and over 30 reciprocal meetings. You will have exclusive use of the Ludlow Club Room and also be given two guest vouchers so that you can bring friends/family along to enjoy the action with you.

Getting There

With no big cities or busy motorways near Ludlow, you should never face too many queues on your way to the course. For public transport users, Ludlow train station is based around two miles from the course.

There isn’t a footpath the entire way so it is best to take the free bus service that runs to and from the track. Collection times will be posted on the website before the day of the meeting and the return service runs after the final race.


Ample free parking close to the course is available on all race days.


The B4365 Runs through Ludlow Racecourse
The B4365 Runs through Ludlow Racecourse (N Chadwick /

It is believed by some people that in the fourteenth century, soldiers from Ludlow Castle regularly rode their horses on the land where the racecourse now stands. Concrete proof of racing however dates back to 1725 and in those days, it was flat action only that took place at Ludlow. It was in the mid-ninetieth century when the switch to jumps racing occurred.

Much of the original flat course is no longer used but part of it does serve as the National Hunt track which is in use today. The track has since become one of the most unusual around; not only does it include a 18 hole golf course in the infield area, but it is also has part of the B4365 running through it. The road crosses the track at three separate points and as a result, traffic is diverted on race days.


During World War 2, the racecourse did its part for the war effort, acting as a temporary home to over 2,000 US soldiers who used to take local children up in the training craft. The course has enjoyed many improvements since then, particularly with regards to its range of hospitality options, but it still retains plenty of its strong Edwardian character and centuries-old charm.