Wincanton racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing track located in Wincanton, England. It is owned and operated by the Jockey Club Racecourses. The racecourse hosts National Hunt races only. In his book, Paul Nicholls reflects on how Wincanton played a major role in his career as a jockey. Paul won a race in 1982 at the racecourse, which is located not far from his yard. It has large steeplechase fences, making the races more challenging, thus interesting. In 2008, Wincanton recorded the highest casualty rate of 9 in the whole country.
Racing at Wincanton was first recorded on Thursday the 25th of August, 1870. It was held at Hatherleigh, just about one mile from the town center. It featured the Hatherleigh Stakes, which was won by Filly Edna, being ridden by HM Rudd. As the years went by, more meetings were held in the racecourse each year. In 1893, the Wincanton Hunt Steeplechase committee was formed, and a meeting took place on Easter Monday of the same year. Just before the wars began, the Wincanton Races Company Ltd was formed. Its progress was however slowed down between 1914
and 1919 when the war erupted. In 1925, the racecourse was moved to its current venue at Kingwell Farm, after the lease at Hatherleigh farm had expired. The first meeting happened at Kingwell on the 18th of August, 1927.
Some of the most notable races held at the course are the Kingwell Hurdle and the Badger Ales Trophy. The Kingwell Hurdle was first run in 1971. It is a Grade 2 race, and only horses aged four years and above take part in it. It takes place every February. The Badger Ales also takes place in February, and the horses compete over a total distance
of 3,077 meters. Coming up this year is the Smarkets Ladies Day, which is scheduled for the 15th of May. It features several races, plus a best dressed lady competition. Gates will be opening as from noon, and the first race beginning at 2:20pm.