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Horse-racing at Musselburgh

The races at Musselburgh
A day at the races (Musselburgh)

One of East Lothian’s most famous attractions is Musselburgh Racecourse. Horse-racing has a long, distinguished history in the town. The Royal Caledonian Hunt’s first races in Musselburgh took place in 1777. From 1789 until 1816 they raced at Leith, but some races did still take place in the town during this hiatus. When they returned to race regularly at Musselburgh, it was to a course that had been laid out for them by the Town Council. So impressed were the Hunt that they distributed 50 guineas amongst the town’s poor.

And so for the next 200 years races have taken place in Musselburgh. Today there are over 20 races a year, over both flat and jumps. These attract vast crowds eager to cheer on their chosen horses and jockeys. And to place a bet of course.

This image comes from the Local History Centre collections. Come to the John Gray Centre to find more like this, and explore more about the history of horse-racing in East Lothian.

See also Gullane.

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