Swindon Stadium

Swindon Stadium, also known as the Abbey Stadium, is a Greyhound Board of Great Britain regulated greyhound racing track and speedway track in Blunsdon, Swindon, England.[2] Greyhound racing currently takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday as part of the ARC fixture schedule with speedway normally on Monday and Thursday evenings.

Swindon Stadium
Abbeyracerobins.JPG
Full nameSwindon Greyhound Stadium, The Abbey Greyhound Stadium or The Abbey Stadium
LocationLady Lane, Blunsdon, Swindon, England
Coordinates51°36′25″N 1°47′31″W / 51.607°N 1.792°W / 51.607; -1.792Coordinates: 51°36′25″N 1°47′31″W / 51.607°N 1.792°W / 51.607; -1.792
OwnerStadia UK
OperatorStadia UK
Capacity2,000 [1]
Construction
Built1947
Opened1949
Tenants

SpeedwayEdit

The stadium is home to the Swindon Robins, who compete in the Elite League; the speedway track has a circumference of 363 metres.[3]

OpeningEdit

The stadium opened to the public on 23 July 1949 when it hosted the Swindon Robins speedway team; greyhound racing followed three years later on 1 November 1952.[4] Swindon had already experienced two short-lived greyhound track venues, in the village of Wroughton and near the town centre in Edinburgh Street, but both had disappeared by the mid-thirties.[5] The stadium occupied a rural setting south of Lady Lane and was named after the Blunsdon Abbey estate in Blunsdon St Andrew, a Victorian estate which had seen its main house destroyed by fire in 1904.

HistoryEdit

 
Swindon Stadium c.1980

The track initially raced as an independent, with 2,000 people attending on 1 November 1952 to watch a greyhound called Don't Care win a 324-yard race in a time of 19.02 secs at odds of 6–1.[6] [7] The stadium came into the hands of the Bristol Greyhound Racing Association, owners of Oxford and Eastville (Bristol) stadiums at that time. This led to the track becoming part of the National Greyhound Racing Club during April 1968. The Silver Plume competition arrived in the same year, as the track's principal event.[8] Another independent track to the northwest of Swindon opened during the sixties at Common Platt but had little effect on the business of its larger neighbour.[9]

In 1983 ADT (British Car Auctions) purchased the Abbey Stadium and used its large car park as a base for their sales. Other competitions at the track were the Grand National of the West, Pride of the West and the Jubilee Stakes.[10] In 1997 the BS Group sold their Eastville stadium and bought Swindon from ADT. The entire Bristol operation including the racing office, bookmakers, trainers, the Western Two Year Old Produce Stakes and the BAGS contract transferred to Swindon.[11]

The BS Group became Stadia UK and then Gaming International, and after the closure of Walthamstow stadium in 2008 the track hosted the Arc competition. In 2018 the stadium signed a deal with ARC to race a Monday, Wednesday and Friday matinée meeting every week.[12] Later in 2018, the Arc competition was discontinued due to expected track changes, but following the sudden closure of Towcester, leading owner John Turner stepped in to save the Oaks with a late scheduling in December.[13]

RedevelopmentEdit

A planned redevelopment has been planned since June 2007.[14][15] The owners, Gaming International, were granted outline planning permission in 2008 to build houses on part of the site and after several revisions, outline permission was again granted in 2015, for up to 100 houses and a care home.[16] Work began on housing in November 2016 but the stadium plans were delayed.[17][18] In 2019, the original plans to reposition the stadium and track were scrapped, and the track was reduced in circumference from 463 metres by creating two new bends inside the old circumference making way for housing. The 509 race distance was also scrapped.[19] The local council refused any further housing additions until progress was made with replacing the existing buildings.[20]

The stadium and track, therefore, remained in its original position with plans to install prefabricated buildings in place of the existing buildings. [21][22] In 2021, the speedway team did not enter the British leagues due to uncertainty surrounding the ongoing changes.[23]

CompetitionsEdit

CurrentEdit

British Bred ProduceEdit

FormerEdit

The ArcEdit

The OaksEdit

Silver PlumeEdit

Extended content
Year Winner Breeding Trainer Time SP Notes
1968 Glory Newtown Printers Prince – Kilmagoura Daisy Colin McNally (Perry Barr) 29.18
1969 The Bad Drop Prairie Flash – Lady Juliana Mrs Kay Lee (Swindon) 30.35 20–1
1970 Ballybeg Flash Prairie Flash – Knock Late Joe Booth (Private) 30.71 Track record
1971 Spectre's Dream Spectre – Jockeys Dream Hugo Spencer (Portsmouth) 1-1f
1978 Lisnastrane Luke Sole Aim – Trina Ann Hazel Walden (Swindon) 28.78
1990 Kilcurley Coal Moneypoint Coal – Victoria Range John McGee (Hackney) 29.04 2-1jf
1992 Summerhill Super Daleys Gold – Tiny Tolcas John Copplestone (Reading) 28.19 2-5f
1993 Forever Roving Skelligs Tiger – Roving Linda Bill Masters (Hove) 28.77 8–1
1994 Crafty Fontana Druids Lodge – Crafty Winter Linda Mullins (Walthamstow) 28.69 4–1
1998 Trade Style Trade Official – Biddys Style Cindy Clapp (Hall Green) 28.84 5–1 Track record

1968–1974: 550 yards, 1975–1998: 480 metres

Current Track recordsEdit

Metres Greyhound Time Date Notes
262 Signet Mafia[24] 15.40 27 March 2022
476 Cadburys Hero[25] 27.86 31 August 2019
682 Emotional[26] 41.51 7 November 2021

Former track recordsEdit

Extended content

Former track records (post-metric) [27]

Metres Greyhound Time Date Notes
275 Fearless Swift 16.28 19 August 1985
280 Mollifrend Tom 16.19 5 October 1988
285 Leaders Highway 16.23 10 June 1998
285 Everton Cheetah 16.23 12 March 2003
285 Jimmy Lollie[28] 15.90 30 September 2009
460 Droopys Clay 27.54 3 September 2002
460 Pindi Express[29] 27.33 11 February 2004
476 Money Matters [30] 27.89 3 August 1988
480 Dave's War 28.49 1979
480 Clonee Bill 28.26 18 October 1982
480 Peasedown Julie 28.26 9 November 1983
480 Trade Style 28.84 23 May 1998 Silver Plume Final
480 White Santa 28.63 12 June 1998
480 Three Wells 28.60 11 April 2001
480 Dalcash Invader 28.57 3 September 2002
480 Westmead Joe 28.50 19 July 2006 British Bred Produce Stakes semi-final
480 Rhyzome Wizard 28.44 21 October 2006
480 Troys Expert 28.29 25 July 2009 British Bred Produce Stakes final
480 Mark My Words 28.28 9 July 2011 British Bred Produce Stakes heats
480 Mark My Words 28.26 15 July 2011 British Bred Produce Stakes 2nd round
480 Sids Dream 28.20 24 February 2012
480 Shaneboy Alley[31] 28.18 1 May 2013 Arc final
480 Johnnys Star[32] 28.18 5 July 2013
509 Greenfield Fox [33] March 1977
509 Westmead Gold 29.98 1 July 1987
509 DarraghCommet 29.94 4 July 1988
509 Broadacres Butch 29.85 4 April 2001
509 Rhyzome Wizard 29.73 26 August 2006
509 Pine Isle 29.70 16 September 2009
509 Little Jig 29.65 30 September 2009 Pride of the West final
509 Crusty Crab 29.59 10 November 2010
509 Sawpit Sensation[34] 29.43 1 May 2013
530 Greenfield Fox 31.58 1977
685 Bright Cut 42.38 1976
685 Black Port 41.72 18 July 1984
685 Droopys Kovac 41.86 31 May 2002
685 Streaky Luvs Men 41.64 13 July 2002
685 Shelbourne Star[29] 40.94 11 February 2004
695 Miss Linsey 45.42 17 June 1985 Jubilee Stakes semi-final
695 Go Go Tiger 45.37 17 June 1985 Jubilee Stakes semi-final
695 Jet Streamer 45.31 6 November 1987
737 Wailea Flash 44.62 3 August 1988
737 XamaxAyam Zaman 45.13 3 September 2002
737 Streaky Luvs Men 45.11 11 July 2003
737 Wise Maldini 44.86 20 September 2003
737 Ballymac Swift[35] 44.29 1 May 2013
932 Ballymac Swift[36] 59.12 22 May 2013
943 Eternal Mist 60.18 1980
943 Tartan Sarah 58.52 23 July 1984
476 H Gizmo Pasha 29.40 13 June 1990
476 H Faoides Country 29.11 18 September 1991
480 H Greenacre George[29] 28.93 3 September 2002

Former track records (pre-metric)

Yards Greyhound Time Date Notes
520 Glory Newtown 29.18 1970
520 Houghton Ryp 1972
520 Houghton Herald August 1973
550 Snobbish Flash 31.37 1969
550 Buff Bauhus 31.31 October 1969
550 Ballybeg Flash 30.71 29 June 1970 Silver Plume Final
575 Legane Glory 32.44 1970
740 Bishops Miss 42.93 1970

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Swindon Greyhound Stadium | Swindon Dog Track".
  2. ^ "Track Search". Greyhound Board of Great Britain. Archived from the original on 25 December 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  3. ^ "HOME - Speedway Star : Weekly Speedway Magazine and Xtra".
  4. ^ Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File, page 134. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.
  5. ^ "Greyhound Racing for Wroughton, Saturday 19 July". Swindon Advertiser & North Wilts Chronicle. 1930.
  6. ^ Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File, page 134. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.
  7. ^ "2,000 watch the greyhound racing - 3 November 1952". The Evening Advertiser. 1952.
  8. ^ Genders, Roy (1981). The Encyclopedia of Greyhound Racing, page 81. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 07207-1106-1.
  9. ^ Furby, R (1968). Independent Greyhound Racing, page 61. New Dominion House.
  10. ^ Genders, Roy (1990). NGRC book of Greyhound Racing, page 59. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 0-7207-1804-X.
  11. ^ Hobbs, Jonathan (2002). Greyhound Annual 2003, page 143. Raceform. ISBN 1-904317-07-3.
  12. ^ "Arc Schedule Released". Greyhound Star. 21 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Oaks to be run in December". Greyhound Star. 8 November 2018.
  14. ^ Benke, Mike (21 March 2015). "New £5m home on cards for Swindon Robins Speedway team". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  15. ^ "New stadium boost for Robins". Swindon Robins. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  16. ^ "S/OUT/14/0833 – Abbey Stadium Lady Lane Swindon SN2 4DN". Swindon Borough Council – Planning. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  17. ^ Humphreys, Chris (11 November 2016). "Work starts on new £5m stadium for Swindon". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  18. ^ Amphlett, Floyd (24 January 2018). "AT LAST! THE NEW SWINDON READY TO PROCEED". Greyhound Star.
  19. ^ "Produce Stakes Last Event Before Swindon Switch". Greyhound Star. 18 June 2019.
  20. ^ "DECISION DELAYED ON MODIFIED PLANS FOR STADIUM". Insider Media Ltd.
  21. ^ "Produce Stakes Last Event Before Swindon Switch". Greyhound Star. 18 June 2019.
  22. ^ "Let's Go Racing". Swindon Greyhounds.
  23. ^ "Swindon withdraw from 2021 Premiership". BBC Sport. 11 January 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  24. ^ "Greyhounds Today Sprint - Heat 1". Greyhound Board of Great Britain. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  25. ^ "The Swindon Standard Stakes". Greyhound Board of Great Britain. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  26. ^ "The Blunsdon 682m Stayers". Greyhound Board of Great Britain. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  27. ^ "Track records". Greyhound Data.
  28. ^ "2009 track record result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  29. ^ a b c "Swindon track records". Greyhound Data. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  30. ^ "Monthly Greyhound Star (Remember When 1988) August edition". Greyhound Star.
  31. ^ "2013 track record result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  32. ^ "result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  33. ^ "Monthly Greyhound Star (Remember When 1977) March edition". Greyhound Star.
  34. ^ "result". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  35. ^ "737 track record". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.
  36. ^ "932 track record". Greyhound Board of Great Britain.

External linksEdit