Huntingdon (Hartford) Greyhound Track
The market town of Huntingdon had a tiny village to the north called Sapley and this where the greyhound track could be found. It sat south of the Kings Ripton Road adjacent to the west side of Sapley Road (originally Sapley Lane). Sapley village and its houses today are pretty much amalgamated into Huntingdon.
The tiny 380y circumference track was unsurprisingly described as a tight circuit and it had a maximum capacity of just 500 spectators. Originally running races over 260 & 460 yards the first Proprietor & Racing Manager was B.Morehen residing at Phylbern Kennels in the nearby village of Graveley.
Trials were arranged for September 1947 with the opening meeting on Sat 20 Sep 1947 at 3pm. Trading as an independent track Morehen still had his own rules that included all greyhounds having to have a trial within eight meetings and should a greyhound find too much time the race would be voided and re-run without the offender.
Racing took place every Saturday at 3pm but did close down for winter before opening the following spring. The track continued as a flapper for decades, during the sixties Monday and Friday night racing took place on a grass track with distances of 330, 440 and 710y behind an ‘Inside Sumner’ hare.
By 1980 the race distances had remained the same but the Friday night had changed to Thursday night racing. Regular open races still featured including some events called the Hunt Cup, Derby, Cambridgeshire, St Leger & Cesarewitch. (These races are not to be confused with the official NGRC licenced races).
The NGRC offered the chance for independent tracks to join them by announcing a permit scheme in the early seventies but they were disappointed that only six decided to take the option, there was of course added expense for any track due to the requirement of the permit licence. The permit scheme however remained open and on July 10th 1984 Huntingdon joined, it required building 64 racing kennels for a start which Huntingdon did not have in the early eighties. The Racing Manager under NGRC rules was Mrs S.Johnston; the permit that was still active in July 1985 was withdrawn by the NGRC in April 1986.
Although the licence was taken away the track continued to trade as an independent with the owners being Alan Chalkley, C Reeves & P Curtis. Race nights consisted of Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings and distances were 70, 245, 410, 585 & 750 metres.
The stadium closed on 18 May 1993 becoming part of the recreation ground and then a housing estate called Burnett Way & Lamport Drive (0° 10′ 13.059″W 52° 20′ 58.444″N).