After entering into administration in August of last year, the owners of Towcester Racecourse have confirmed its closure, with the remaining fixtures having been sold to Arena Racing Company (ARC).
The historic UK racecourse and greyhound track was sold to Fermor Land LLP after a period of ‘trading difficulties’, with a number of this year’s meetings hosted elsewhere.
The British Horseracing Authority has confirmed that it has been working alongside Fermor Land LLP to oversee the sale of the track, as well as the redistribution of the ten remaining fixtures that were due to take place.
Richard Wayman, Chief Operating Officer of the BHA, said: “We are saddened to see the closure of Towcester, a popular racecourse which will undoubtedly have created fond memories for many racing fans and participants.
“We had hoped, following the course going into administration in August 2018, that the new owners might find a solution which allowed for racing to resume at Towcester, and it is disappointing that has not proved possible. The BHA will now work with ARC to find the most suitable venues for the ten fixtures involved, which will all remain over Jumps.
“From championship racing to grassroots, Jump racing is a huge asset to British sport, with a growing base of loyal and knowledgeable supporters. The general outlook is a positive one and we will continue to work with parties across the industry to ensure that Jump racing in Britain goes from strength to strength in the future.”
As it stands, two fixtures are due to be staged at the racecourse in 2019, with the venues set to be confirmed in the coming weeks. The location and dates of the ARC-purchased fixtures are also due to be confirmed in due course.
In a statement, Harry Westropp of Fermor Land, added: “The partners of Fermor Land LLP would like to thank the BHA, Arc and the RCA [Racecourse Association] for their co-operation with the sale of ten Towcester legacy fixtures.
“I have no doubt that the fixtures will prove a great addition to Arc venues to sustain the sport moving forward.
“Fermor Land looks to the future with enthusiasm and hopes in due course to make further announcements regarding the resumption of greyhound racing as well as possible point-to-point fixtures.”
Towcester has been hosting race meetings since 1876, and the 2018 takeover was hoped to bring a new lease of life to the track. The closure of the track will be the first since 2012 following the closure of Folkestone and Hereford, which was subsequently re-opened by ARC four years later.
While it was hoped for by many that the closure of the course would merely be a temporary measure, it could be said that the future for the racecourse doesn’t look as bleak as initially thought.
With the possibility of future greyhound race meetings, it has been reported that talks are currently ongoing between both the Hesketh family and Henlow-promoter Kevin Bothby about a possible resumption next year.