Henlow Stadium

Henlow Stadium is a greyhound track located at Stondon, in the English county of Bedfordshire, slightly to the north of Hitchin.[1] The stadium has a restaurant, a number of bars and a bistro.

Henlow Stadium
LocationBedford Road, Lower Stondon, Henlow SG16 6EA
Coordinates51°46′19″N 0°03′49″E / 51.77194°N 0.06361°E / 51.77194; 0.06361
Opened1927
Tenants
Greyhound racing

Racing takes place every Monday and Thursday morning, Tuesday evening and Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

HistoryEdit

20th CenturyEdit

During the boom time of greyhound racing in 1927 Henlow was one of many tracks appearing around Britain, the site at Henlow Camp was previously a straights track starting in 1923. Racing got underway on 1 August 1927 but the track was to remain independent (unlicensed) for nearly fifty years. The stadium located on the Bedford Road, Lower Stondon in an area known as Henlow Camp named after the First World War RAF Henlow but now a civilian settlement. In the early days of racing the hare was a drag lure driven by a lorry wheel and racing was watched from the Ickleford side of the track. There were issues in the early thirties when due to the popularity of Sunday racing the crowds unintentionally but continually blocked the main road when frequenting the track. In 1935 the track licence changed hands from H.E Day to A.A Furr.[2]

Henlow remained a popular flapping track and had a capacity of just 1,000 spectators after the Second World War following a switch of viewing facilities to the other side of the track still used today. In the late fifties the Smith family took over the running of the track and in the late sixties racing was held on Monday and Friday evenings at 7.45pm over distances of 350, 530 and 880 yards. The circumference was 470 yards and the principal event was the Henlow Derby. There was an inside Sumner hare on an all sand track with seven bookmakers on site. Totalisator and photo finish had also been installed.[3]

In 1974 Come on Wonder (full litter brother to Dolores Rocket) broke track records at West Ham Stadium and Crayford & Bexleyheath Stadium before being disqualified and going on to race on the independent circuits winning the Henlow Derby. It was not until 1976 that the opportunity arose to race under the National Greyhound Racing Club permit rules, SW Smith was the General Manager and Dave Smith was the Racing Manager. Track changes resulted in the circumference being made considerably smaller, the 412 circumference hosted distances of 318, 484, 730 and 890 metres, the third and fourth bends retained a rather odd shape in the process.[4]

In 1992 Patsy Cusack steered Pennys Best to the 1992 English Greyhound Derby final.[5] and in January 1994 Jock McNaughton a Strathclyde man bought the track from the Smith family, McNaughton had previously been a permit trainer at Rye House Stadium and Henlow and as a boy had raced at Blantyre. The track changed again when Tony McDonnell bought the lease under the name of Henlow Racing Ltd and undertook several refurbishment projects.[6] McDonnell would be General Manager and he bring in an ex-trainer Keith Mellor as the Racing Manager. McDonnell continued to run the track but changes were made on the management front, Keith Woolsey became General Manager and Paul Mellor (son of Keith) Racing Manager.[7]

21st CenturyEdit

In 2006 a new restaurant was constructed in the stadium, at a cost of £464,000.[8] Henlow Stadium won the 2007 English Greyhound Derby trophy with Westmead Lord trained from the Nick Savva kennel and owned by the Morton family.[9]

Businessman Bob Morton (known for owning Westmead Hawk) purchased the track from Tony McDonnell in 2008 along with Kevin Boothby who took a half share.[10] Morton and Boothby had saved the track from potential development but Morton moved back to the Channel Islands in 2012 leaving Kevin Boothby in sole control.[11]

Rio Quattro won the richest ever prize in greyhound racing in 2015 when the Daniel Riordan Henlow trained black dog picked up the £250,000 winner's purse for winning the 2015 English Greyhound Derby.[12]

In 2018 the stadium signed a deal with SIS to race every Monday morning, Tuesday evening, Thursday morning and Sunday afternoon.[13] Leading trainer Mark Wallis joined the track during August 2018.[14]

In 2020 local planners agreed to plans for the site being developed. The lease held by Kevin Boothby was due to end in November 2021 but he was seeking a five-year extension. Boothy had already branched out by gaining a 10-year lease at Towcester Greyhound Stadium.[15]

CompetitionsEdit

Track recordsEdit

CurrentEdit

Metres Greyhound Time Date Notes
277 Queen Anna[16] 16.23 29 October 2017
428 Queen Adele[17] 25.15 24 June 2018
460 Forest Chunk[18] 26.98 3 December 2017
460 hurdles Bomber Bailey[19] 28.20 23 July 2009
550 Roswell Romanov[20] 32.86 25 March 2018
692 Dazzle Special[19] 42.02 8 March 2010
842 King Kane[21] 52.66 24.08.2014
870 Midway Skipper[19] 54.93 13 August 2009

Former track recordsEdit

Extended content
Metres Greyhound Time Date Notes
250 Night Trooper 15.25 23 November 1998
250 Night Breeze 15.10 1999
250 Gamble It 14.96 1 May 2000
250 Quivers Ace 14.92 7 June 2007
277 Second Option 16.65 4 April 2008
277 Minnies Tyrana 16.52 21 May 2009
277 Droopys Bocelli 16.26 17 December 2009
318 Ecins Best 19.01 8 September 1980
318 Chin No Nose 18.97 12 April 1991
428 Bush Standard 25.56 8 November 2012
428 Boher Chieftain 25.82 4 October 2012
428 Aero Babooshka 25.53 22 March 2015
428 Saffrons Anna [22] 25.50 20 March 2016
428 Queen Adele [23] 25.33 10 June 2018
428 Queen Adele [24] 25.26 17 June 2018
460 Trade Congress 27.65 19 June 1998
460 Couriers Dream 27.43 18 September 1998
460 Fear Khan 27.28 25 September 2005
460 Westmead Osprey 27.25 16 September 2010
460 Westmead Osprey 27.21 7 October 2010 Henlow Derby heats
460 Taylors Sky 27.21 13 October 2011 Henlow Derby heats
460 Taylors Sky 27.08 20 October 2011 Henlow Derby semi-finals
460 Mays King 27.05 01 June 2014
460 Rio Quattro =27.05 19 October 2014
484 Raheen Rudie 29.12 March 1986
484 Westmead Call 29.12 10 October 1986 Henlow Derby final
484 Cannongrand 29.08 25 October 1989
550 Westmead Baron 33.35 18 May 2001
550 Little Honcho 33.30 25 April 2005
550 Westmead Liz 33.25 2 January 2006
550 Questhouse Ellie 33.10 24 April 2006
550 Westmead Bolt 33.07 20 October 2011
550 Airport Captain 32.94 21 July 2013
550 Jet Stream Sound [25] 32.87 16 August 2015
680 Snow Shoes 42.14 25 November 1991
680 Shebas Lass 42.87 29 October 1990
680 Snow Shoes 42.60 20 November 1991
680 Fortunate Man 42.51 20 November 1991
680 Snow Shoes 42.14 25 November 1991
660 Lobo 40.21 15 October 1999
692 Ard Beauty 42.31 23 April 2009
730 Chicita Banana 44.96 13 June 1990
730 Blue Shirt 45.50 18 June 1984
730 Tarnwood Snowdrop 45.22 1988
730 Chicita Banana 44.96 13 June 1990
870 Tiptree Poker 55.31 27 October 1997
870 Betathan Pebbles 54.95 30 October 2005
890 Clydes Dolores 57.20 22 February 1988
890 Cregagh Prince 57.29 1987

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Track Search". Greyhound Board of Great Britain. Archived from the original on 25 December 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  2. ^ Genders, Roy (1990). NGRC book of Greyhound Racing, pages 29-30. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 0-7207-1804-X.
  3. ^ furby, R (1968). Independent Greyhound Racing. New Dominion House.
  4. ^ Genders, Roy (1981). The Encyclopedia of Greyhound Racing, page 55. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 07207-1106-1.
  5. ^ Hobbs, Jonathan (2007). Greyhound Annual 2008, page 92. Raceform. ISBN 978-1-905153-53-4.
  6. ^ "McDonnell Keeps His Promises". Vol. 16, no. 1. Greyhound Star. January 1998.
  7. ^ Hobbs, Jonathan (2007). Greyhound Annual 2008, page 188. Raceform. ISBN 978-1-905153-53-4.
  8. ^ "Remember When - April 2006". Greyhound Star.
  9. ^ Hobbs, Jonathan (2007). Greyhound Annual 2008, page 83. Raceform. ISBN 978-1-905153-53-4.
  10. ^ "Remember When December". Greyhound Star. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Morton buys in at Henlow". The Racing Post.
  12. ^ "Result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  13. ^ "SIS announces schedule for SIS British Greyhound Service for 2018". SIS.
  14. ^ "Wallis Joins Henlow". Greyhound Star.
  15. ^ "Henlow Planning Granted". Greyhound Star.
  16. ^ "Result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  17. ^ "Result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  18. ^ "Result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  19. ^ a b c "Henlow track records". Greyhound Data. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  20. ^ "2018 track record result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  21. ^ "Henlow OR 842m". Greyhound Board of Great Britain. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  22. ^ "Result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  23. ^ "Result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  24. ^ "Result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  25. ^ "2015 result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 52°00′32″N 0°18′28″W / 52.00895°N 0.30784°W / 52.00895; -0.30784