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Kiplingcotes Derby is widely accepted to be the oldest annual horse race in the English sporting calendar. It reputedly began in 1519 and takes place on the third Thursday in March, often in exceptionally adverse weather conditions. The 490th race was held on 19 March 2009, the 2010 event took place on 18 March, the 2011 event on 17 March, the 2012 race on 15 March and the 2013 race on 21 March 2013.
The Kiplingcotes (also spelled Kipling Cotes) race is the oldest in England having taken place every year since 1519. It is run every spring. One quirk of the ancient rules means the second place rider usually receives more in prize money than the winner. It might not look much like a proper racecourse but the clerk is only paid 5 shillings a year for maintaining it.
- The course takes in four miles of arduous farm track and field.
- Riders must weigh in at ten stones, excluding saddle, and horses of any age can be ridden.
- All those wishing to enter must gather by the starting post by 11 a.m. on the morning of the Derby.
- The winner receives the sum of £50. (However, sometimes it may prove advantageous to come second, as this rider is the lucky recipient of the sum of the entry fees.)
- The rules also state that if the race is not run one year then it must never be run again.
During the harsh winter of 1947 no one was daring enough to take part and so one local farmer took it upon himself to lead a lone horse around the course, ensuring that the historic race would survive. During the 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis the race was once again reduced to one horse and rider.
- "Maisey triumphs at Kiplingcotes Derby - England's oldest horse race". Beverley Guardian. Johnston Press Digital Publishing. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2009.
- "The 'Local' Race - The Kiplingcotes Derby". Wicstun. 24 March 2010. Retrieved 31 May 2010.
- "The 'Local' Race - The Kiplingcotes Derby". Wicstun. 20 March 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
- "The 'Local' Race - The Kiplingcotes Derby". Wicstun. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- "The 'Local' Race - The Kiplingcotes Derby". Wicstun. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
- Ellerington, Alison (1989). The Kiplingcotes Derby. Hyperion Books. ISBN 978-0-948929-32-8 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK].