Chester race course, also known as the Roodee is said to be the oldest racecourse that’s still in use today, in England. Not surprising as the earliest horse races at Chester date back to the early 16th century. The history books suggest horse racing was introduced to Chester in 1539, to replace the Goteddsday football match. The match was banned, due to high-levels of player injury and the ramifications that came with it.
The Mayor of Chester at the time gave his consent to the first recorded horse race at Chester, and his name – Henry Gee, led to the use of the term “gee gee” for referencing horses. Races at Chester took place on an open field until 1817, when their first grandstand was completed. The grandstand had to be rebuilt in 1985, due to an arsonist raising it to the ground. Nowadays, Chester racecourse is pivotal to the local economy and has become a focal point throughout the year.