Kiplingcotes Derby

Where: Market Weighton - finishing post is on a minor road 400 yards off the A614, signposted Warter
When: 3rd Thursday in March
Time: Race at 12, weigh-in 10- 11. Finish 2pm at the latest.


Kiplingcotes Derby is reputedly the oldest flat-race in the UK, with origins in the Sixteenth Century and firm records dating back to 1618. Entrants turn up on the day ; it’s open to horses “of all ages”  and jockeys weighing under 10 stone must carry weights according to the rules. The course covers four miles, steep in places and often muddy. The winner has to be in it for the glory – the way the prize money is allocated means that the runner-up, whose prize is made up of the entry fees on the day, often gets a bigger cash prize than the winner who receives a fixed sum of £50. The day begins with speeches and a weigh-in at the finishing post; riders make their way slowly to the start of the race from this point and race back.

Helpful Hints

In 2018 it will be on Thursday March 15th.

There were new rules for spectators from 2013 – please note the following taken from the organisers webpage  and also check their site before setting off as they will report any last minute changes (see further down the page for link):

The local authority have ruled that the winning post road can no longer be accessed or used for parking by spectators and will close nearby laybys to prevent pedestrians walking on the busy A614.

There will still be some parking at Londesborough Wold farm but muddy conditions could create a problem.

The journey to and from the course is around ten minutes each way and the horses assemble near the winning post by 12 o’clock before cantering out to the start at Kiplingcotes. The race itself must be run before 2pm.

The organisers advise on the event website that it isn’t possible for spectators to see both start and finish of the race because of the terrain and course length; they recommend watching from the finishing post near Londesborough Wold Farm from around 10am to be in plenty of time for the preamble. Don’t expect grandstands or other facilities ; do expect inclement weather! 2012 was the first year that a bookie was present and the race took place in fog (at one point it was rumoured that it would have to be cancelled owing to poor visibility but fortunately it all went ahead).

For a more detailed account read” The Kiplingcotes Derby – England’s Oldest Horse Race” by Alison Ellerington.


The event’s own website appears to be broken at the moment but I’ve left the link in place in the hope that it will be fixed.

Click here for the event website :

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