Hereford stages last meeting

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Hereford Racecourse has held its last ever meeting after its owners decided that it was no longer financially viable.

Clerk of the course Keith Otteson said that owners had brought their horses "from far and wide" to take part in the historic last day.

It has been a venue for horse racing since 1771 but owners Arena Leisure and Northern Racing said the current 17-year lease made it difficult to invest in the racecourse in the future.

Herefordshire Council had initially hoped that a community-led group would takeover the racecourse after plans to close it had become official.

Mr Otteson said that smaller courses, such as that in Hereford, have suffered a large fall in income as a result of the recession and a drop in the amount of money raised by the tax on betting shops.

Despite the bad news, he added: "We've been able to secure most of the permanent jobs at Hereford in terms of looking after the track in a caretaker capacity and also taking people to Chepstow racecourse to work there."

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