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Britain's oldest racecourse: the roots and traditions of horse racing in Chester

Britain is known for its ancient traditions and deep historical roots in many areas, including horse racing and horse betting. Racecourses here are not just venues for spectacular racing, but witnesses to a rich cultural heritage steeped in the spirit of aristocracy and chivalry.

Even now, when many people bet on horse racing through Melbet, Parimatch App, and other bookmakers, the racecourse is the center of attraction for all locals and Britons from other countries.

Truly unique is Chester Racecourse, which is widely regarded as the oldest operating racecourse not only in Britain but in the whole world. Despite its considerable age, the racecourse is still active and also participates in community events such as Roman Day.

Historically, Chester Racecourse has been the cradle of British horse racing, the place where one of the country's most vibrant traditions was born. Its origins go back to the 16th century when horse racing was just beginning to gain popularity among the nobility and commoners.

Becoming the oldest racecourse in the country

Chester Racecourse, better known as Ruday or Roday, is located on the banks of the River Dee in the county of Cheshire in northwest England. Its foundation in 1539 is associated with the period of the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the name of Henry Gee, the influential Mayor of Chester, nicknamed "the Reformer". It was he who decreed that horse races should be held annually in Chester.

After 480 years, in 2019, the Guinness Book of World Records officially recognized Chester Racecourse as the oldest operating racecourse in the world. The name 'Roodee' or 'Roodeye' (Roodee, Roodeye) itself is of ancient Saxon-Norman origin and translates as 'Island of the Cross'.

A continuous tradition of horse racing

Although the racecourse has been temporarily interrupted by major historical events such as the English Civil War, World War I, and World War II, the tradition of horse racing at Chester is still alive today. It has continued almost continuously since the mid-16th century, except for a few forced pauses.

On the grounds of the modern racecourse, you can still see the remains of the stone cross that gave its name to the whole place. This cross is a mute witness to the centuries-long history of equestrian sport in Britain, symbolizing the continuity of traditions and respect for the country's cultural heritage.

Throughout its centuries of operation, the racecourse has been a center of attraction not only for locals but also for people from other parts of the country.


Chester Racecourse is a truly priceless asset of Britain, a living monument to its rich history and culture. It strikes the imagination not only for its venerable age but also for its ability to keep traditions for many centuries.

Here you can feel the spirit of the time, the flavor of chivalry and noble competitions. Well, modern competitions at the hippodrome can be classified as elite. And this is proved by the record prize funds, which are played at this sports facility.

Visiting the oldest racecourse in the world, you can't help but respect the heritage of your ancestors and realize how much their roots and traditions mean to the British. Chester's Ruday is not just a place to race, but a true temple of British equestrian culture. It is a reminder of a time when horse racing was not just a spectacle, but part of aristocratic life, an integral part of the nobility's life.

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