Carlisle Racecourse

Last updated

Location Carlisle, Cumbria
Owned by Jockey Club Racecourses
Screened on Racing TV
Course type Flat
National Hunt
Notable races Carlisle Bell, Cumberland Chase, Cumberland Plate, Graduation Chase
Official website

Carlisle Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing venue located in the village of Blackwell near Carlisle in Cumbria, England. The course has been on its present site since 1904, when it moved there from another location nearer to Carlisle. The course is 1 mile and 4 furlongs (2.41 km) in circumference, right-handed, and hosts flat racing in the summer and National Hunt racing over the winter months. The last half mile is up a steep incline. The going can get very heavy in the winter.


History was made on 2 July 1929 when the newly formed Totalisator Board operated their pool betting system for the first time on a British racecourse at Carlisle.

Carlisle is home to the Carlisle Bell, one of the oldest horse races in existence. Held annually at Carlisle Racecourse in June alongside the Cumberland Plate, the race is run over 7 furlongs and 173 yards, and although the Bell is presented ceremoniously to the winner, it is actually kept in the nearby Carlisle Guildhall Museum. The Carlisle Bell has only twice been amended – with it being run in Thirsk in 2001, and cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [1] Carlisle also had a King's Plate – a race for 5-year-old horses in 3-mile heats – instigated by George III in 1763. [2]

The Carlisle Gold Bell is inscribed with ‘The sweftes horse thes bel to take for mi lade Daker sake’, which translates to modern day English as ‘The swiftest horse may claim this bell in Lady Dacre’s name’. It continues to be given away as a prize for an annual race even today, making it one of the UK’s oldest, and most prestigious, races.

Notable races

MonthDOWRace NameTypeGradeDistanceAge/Sex
JuneWednesday Carlisle Bell FlatHandicap7f 200y3yo +
JuneWednesday Eternal Stakes FlatHandicap6f 192y3yo f
NovemberSunday Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase National HuntListed2m 4f4yo +
DecemberSunday Houghton Mares' Chase National HuntListed2m 4f4yo + f
Other races

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  1. "Carlisle Racecourse Guide". British Racecourses.
  2. Whyte, James Christie (1840). History of the British turf, from the earliest period to the present day, Volume I. London: H. Colburn. p. 403. OL   6544990M.

Coordinates: 54°51′40″N2°56′00″W / 54.86111°N 2.93333°W / 54.86111; -2.93333