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The Old Racecourse, Abbotsham, Bideford, EX39 5BH

Although the North Devon town of Bideford had last experienced Greyhound Racing during the mid-1980’s, it is known that the sport once flourished almost sixty years earlier, on a track situated roughly three miles west of the town.

The sport took place at a venue known as the Shebberton Racecourse, a venue more associated with Horse Racing during the 1920’s, but also became a venue that would host other sports such as Whippet Racing, Lurcher Coursing, Pony Racing, Trotting and Motorcycle competitions.

This venue overlooked the Atlantic Ocean, having developed on grazing land set in beautiful countryside that would dwindle itself downtown to the coast, between Abbotsham Court and Cornborough Cliffs.

Although Horse Racing first featured in 1922, Greyhound Racing did not arrive until 1st September 1927, with events being run over distances of 475, 525, 575 and 650 yards, with the hounds contesting behind a trackless type lure.

Further dates remain unclear regarding its existence, but it is thought that all sporting activities had ceased by 1933. Today, the site of Shebberton Racecourse has returned to its original purpose, acting as grazing meadows for the local farming community, although a small building known as The Racecourse Bungelow, which is found along the footpath at Cornborough Range, is its only remnant, having once acted as a refreshment room for its guests.

This OS Map dated 1961. Courtesy of Old Maps.
Picture of Shebbertown Race Course (1920s)
The Racecourse Bungalow just about visible right of centre. Map courtesy of Google Maps.