Exeter Racecourse is set in gorgeous surroundings on the Haldon Hills overlooking the Devon countryside and is renowned for being a friendly race track being very popular with the seasonal holiday makers visiting the south west as well as with National Hunt racing enthusiasts too.
Formerly known as Devon and Exeter having first started out Haldon Racecourse, the Exeter track is a right handed circular course about two miles in circumference and has only one problem for the visitor in that it undulates so severely that one part of the far straight is lost for the observers from the stand.
The track is not for the faint hearted horse, as the final run in is a stiff uphill half mile slog, particularly during the winter months, so horses with greater stamina have the edge in the closing stages. To reach that finishing run, horses will have needed to have successfully tackled the 11 fences or seven hurdles per circuit. All in all Exeter is an excellent race track and has great history of where future champions begin their career, Desert Orchid and the great Denman the choice of a bunch.
Exeter stages racing during the traditional jump season between October and May with the summer months blank. There are 15 fixtures each year with the feature meeting of the entire season being the early November fixture branded as Haldon Gold Cup Day and including the race of the same name. That Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup is the richest staged at Exeter each year and targets the best mid-distance chasers around. Other key meetings staged each season in the popular New Year’s Day fixtures on January 1st, Ladies Night in May and the Christmas Raceday which takes place just days before the festive period begins. In addition to the Haldon Gold Cup, one of the other significant races in the Exeter programme is the Devon National, a four mile marathon staged in December and one in which future Grand National horses test of their stamina.
Race day highlights each year include:
New Year’s Day in January
Children’s Day in April
Ladies Night in May
Haldon Gold Cup Day in November
Devon National Day in December
Christmas Raceday in December
Exeter Racecourse tickets can be bought for two enclosures – the Haldon Premier Enclosure and the Grandstand and Paddock Enclosure. Badges for the Haldon Premier Enclosure permit entry to all areas of the racecourse, including the winners enclosure, parade ring, the extended Haldon Stand and the Iddesleigh Gallery, a tiered seating area which offers excellent viewing of the track and of the surrounding countryside. Grandstand and Paddock Enclosure badgeholders can gain access to all parts of the racecourse other than the Haldon Stand. There are three packages which can be bought – the Haldon Package, Newcomers Package and Martin Pipe Package – with varying degrees of items included dependent on price.
HOSPITALITY AND EVENTS
There are numerous private boxes available for hire for hospitality during race meetings and when it comes to shared facilities the Desert Orchid Restaurant, which has spectacular views over the racecourse, is the best place to dine. There are, of course, several other eateries on the track including in the Best Mate Bar.
Being situated in beautiful surroundings on the edge of the Haldon Forest, Exeter Racecourse is popular as a wedding venue with the capability to host up to 250 guests. The racecourse facilities are also popular for staging conferences, meetings and exhibitions with the Denman Room having a capacity of 250. It’s location on the A38 makes it easily accessible and despite no racing taking place during the summer months the racecourse remains open all year round.