Kiplingcotes Derby


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Kiplingcotes Derby

Third Thursday in March
The Kiplingcotes Derby, which is run along the Wolds Way in Yorkshire, England, on the third Thursday in March, dates back more than 450 years, making it the longest-running "flat race" (as opposed to the steeplechase, which involves jumping over obstacles) in England. The route along which the horses run measures four miles in length and cuts through five different parishes, supposedly following an ancient Roman road. It begins near South Dalton and finishes near Kiplingcotes Farm in the parish of Middleton-on-the-Wolds.
The minimum weight that every rider must achieve is 10 stone (140 lbs.), and they are weighed beforehand to weed out cheaters who may have filled their pockets with heavy pieces of metal. The entrance fee paid by each competitor will be awarded to the second-place finisher while the winner takes home the interest on the shares of stock provided in 1618 by the district's landowners to finance the race in future years. It is never a large sum, however, and the prestige of winning is worth more than the actual prize money.
One year, when no riders had signed up for the race, officials took a cart-horse around the track rather than interrupt the centuries-old custom. In addition, in 2001 the race was cancelled due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease throughout England; however, one rider ceremoniously rode the course.
CONTACTS:
Yorkshire Tourist Board
312 Tadcaster Rd.
York, Yorkshire YO24 1GS United Kingdom
44-19-0470-7961; fax: 44-19-0470-1414
www.yorkshire.com
SOURCES:
YrFest-1972, p. 131
References in periodicals archive ?
Alison Garner, 42, will travel to Market Weighton, East Yorkshire, tomorrow to take part in the Kiplingcotes Derby on her horse Libby.
It reminded me of the day when my own horse, Tulum, won England's oldest horserace, the Kiplingcotes Derby (41/2m
The Kiplingcotes Derby, first run in 1519 and contested every year since on the third Thursday in March, takes place over four miles of farm tracks, grass verges and a road - unadorned by matting or woodchip.
Maisie won the Kiplingcotes Derby, run over the wolds of the East Riding of Yorkshire and England's oldest horserace - an event which is to racing under rules what the Ashbourne football game is to the Cup Final.
However, nothing about the Kiplingcotes Derby is remotely formal.
The race takes place over a course of about four miles, starting at an old stone post on the side of a tiny road near the village of Etton and proceeding along grass verges, across a stretch of tarmac, through a sea of mud, over the bridge which crosses the old railway line, alongside Ashslack Woods - the Tattenham Corner of the Kiplingcotes Derby - then across the A614 Market Weighton-Bridlington road (mercifully officially closed for the occasion) and along more grass verges to the winning post.
Kentucky, German, French, Italian etc, not forgetting England's oldest horserace, the Kiplingcotes Derby, run every year since 1519.
At this point, I should point out that Ken Holmes has won the Kiplingcotes Derby ten times and been second five times and, therefore, in my book, is the most successful Derby jockey.