32. FAKENHAM RACECOURSE
The first West Norfolk Steeplechase Meeting was held at East Winch in 1884.
Two years later The Prince of Wales agreed to become the club's president.
His Equerry wrote that;
"His Royal Highness desires me to say that it will give him great pleasure to be president of the 'West Norfolk Hunt Club' which is about to be formed.
His Royal Highness hopes that you will be particular about whom you admit into the club."
The annual meetings continued at East Winch and there were special trains from Dereham and Kings Lynn to East Winch.
In 1904 it was decided to move the racecourse to Fakenham. This was partly because the ground at East Winch was heavy and partly because one of the tenant farmers was being 'difficult'.
The committee was concerned that, 'there would be great difficulty in keeping out the public.'
The first meeting was held here on Easter Monday in 1905.
Since then racing at Fakenham Racecourse has flourished with support from The Queen who became patron in 1952, handing over to the Prince of Wales in 2000; her mother, grandfather and great grandfather have all been supporters.
The Queen of Norway came in 1929. The only break in racing was during the two World Wars.
Now there are many meetings every year at this, one of the friendliest of racecourses!