Old Photograph Winning Post Racecourse Ayr Scotland

Old photograph of the Winning Post at the racecourse in Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland. Horse racing in Ayr dates back to 1576, but the first official meeting did not take place until 1771 at a racecourse situated in the Seafield area of the town. This first racecourse was a mile oval with sharp bends. In the early days, racing was supported by the local landed gentry and members of the Caledonian Hunt. Important figures in the course's history have included the Earl of Eglinton, Sir James Boswell and the Duke of Portland. In 1824, Ayr's most important race meeting, the Western Meeting, was established and by 1838 it offered £2000 in prize money and the most valuable two year old race of the season in Britain. The meeting's feature race, the Ayr Gold Cup, became a handicap race in 1855 and is now the richest sprint handicap in Europe. Due to the small size of the track and limitations on the size of the paddock, a new site for the racecourse was eventually sought and in 1907, the course was moved to its current location in the Craigie area of town.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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