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Press information for immediate release Oldest horse-race in England - where it pays to come second

A little over two weeks before one of the most famous races in the world (The Aintree Grand National) takes place in 2014 the oldest horse!race in "n#land will once a#ain be run in The $orkshire %olds on &arch 20th' (enr) *+++ was the ,in# of "n#land when the first ever ,iplin#cotes -erb) took place over a four!mile! lon# countr)side course in 1.1/' And it has taken place in the villa#e of &arket %ei#hton ever) sin#le )ear since then thanks in part to one local farmer who ! durin# the harsh winter of 1/40 when no!one was darin# enou#h to race ! took it upon himself to lead a horse around the course to ensure the historic race1s unbeaten record would remain intact' 2hester 3acecourse ! 4The 3oodee5 ! is accordin# to official records the oldest racecourse still in use in "n#land with the first recorded race bein# sta#ed there on 6ebruar) /th 1.7/' The first ever ,iplin#cotes -erb) took place in The $orkshire %olds a full 20 )ears before that but it was not until 188/ that it became an endowed race ! thus ensurin# its future' Now one of the 9uirkiest sportin# events in :ritain it traditionall) takes place on the third Thursda) in &arch startin# at an old stone post on the #rass ver#e in the parish of "tton not far from the old ,iplin#cotes railwa) station near &arket %ei#hton before coverin# a distance of four miles over farm lanes and tracks and finishin# at ;ondesborou#h %old 6arm' The unpredictable weather at this time of the )ear and the nature of the course still make it a challen#e for ever)one takin# part' <ne ma=or 9uirk of the ancient rules of the race (drawn up in 181>) means that the second placed rider usuall) receives more pri?e mone) than the winner' (The incentive to win the race is a first pri?e of @.0 with the second horse home receivin# a pri?e made up of the sum of all the entrance fees ! of @4'2. eachA)' Bimilarl) no!one knows how man) horses and riders will enter the race until the mornin# of the -erb) itself' &arket %ei#hton ! or %icstun as it was referred to in the -omesda) :ook ! is now one of the man) attractive villa#es and market towns in The $orkshire %olds made famous b) the paintin#s of -avid (ockne)' The town1s other ma=or claim to fame is 4The $orkshire Giant5 %illiam :radle) born on 6ebruar) 10th 10>0' The fourth son of a famil) of thirteen b) the a#e of 20 he was an ama?in# seven feet and nine inches tall and wei#hed 20 stones' A pla9ue erected on the wall of %illiam :radle)Cs former house toda) shows the si?e of the shoes ! measurin# fifteen inches in len#th and five and three 9uarter inches in width ! he wore' Tourism information for The $orkshire %olds can be found at www'vhe)'co'uk'