Riders saddle up for historic race

Tracey Corrigan riding Prince beats Richard Mumford riding Bob to win the 2015 Kiplingcotes Derby.
Tracey Corrigan riding Prince beats Richard Mumford riding Bob to win the 2015 Kiplingcotes Derby.

The oldest flat horse race in England will be held again next week, with riders from all over the country expected to compete in the event.

The historic Kiplingcotes Derby, which is run near Market Weighton, will be held on 17 March.

All those wishing to enter the 497th Derby must gather by the winning post at Londesborough Wold Farm, north of Market Weighton, before 11am on the morning of the race to weigh in. Competitors will then walk their horses to the start near the village of Etton. The race itself must be run by 2pm.

The course takes in four miles of arduous farm track and field.

Anne Stephenson, wife of Kiplingcotes Derby trustee Guy Stephenson, said: “Everything is in place and organised.

“You don’t know how many riders are going to take part until the day itself, but if it’s anything like recent years then we can expect riders from all over the country.

“Plenty of people watched the race last year but it depends what the ground is going to be like. It’s been so wet this winter and some of the track is worse for wear.”

There are no plans to run a park and ride service this year but there is plenty of parking available at Londesborough Wold Farm.

Last year, two people near Scarborough finished first and second in the Derby for the second year running.

Tracey Corrigan, who rode Prince, and Richard Mumford, who was riding Bob, came first and second respectively.

However, an air ambulance was called for a rider after she fell from her horse during the race. Jane Chivers was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary by a helicopter from RAF Leconfield following the fall in which she suffered a number of injuries, including broken bones and ribs and internal 

The race, which dates back to 1519, traditionally takes place on the third Thursday of March. Its rules state if the race is not run one year, it must never be run again. Every rider must be a minimum weight of 10 stones, excluding saddle, and horses of any age can be ridden.