Wednesday 26 June 2024
Watch history in the making at Carlisle Racecourse this summer as we present the contest for the oldest sporting trophy in the world, The Carlisle Bell.
First run in 1599, it plays a major part in making this day one of Cumbria's favourites and alongside the Cumberland Plate, follwoed by the listed Class 1 Eternal Stakes, is the focal point of a fantastic day of racing.
Bell & Plate History
Horse racing has been a popular activity in Britain for many centuries, the first properly recorded races date from the 16th century.
During this period, silver bells were common racehorse prizes, along with bridles, plates’ and purses of money.
The larger bell, has the inscription:
'The sweftes horse thes bel to tak for mi lade Daker sake' (The Swiftest horse this bell to take for my lady Dacre's sake)...
The second bell, is inscribed: 1599 H.B.M.C. In this case, the initials are believed to stand for:
Henry Baines, Mayor of Carlisle.
The bells appear to have survived as part of the council's collection of civic silver, which has allowed them to be preserved until today- hence being the worlds oldest sporting trophy.
An incredible history which continues to this day, join us to see who is added to the Carlisle Bell’s illustrious roll of honour.
Timings and races subject to change.