Your Neighbour: 127 Years of Horses and History!

New racetrack grandstand under construction in 1965, with grain terminal and Second Narrows Bridge in background. Photo courtesy Ralph Bower

New racetrack grandstand under construction in 1965, with grain terminal and Second Narrows Bridge in background. Photo courtesy of Ralph Bower

For 127 years, Hastings Racecourse has stood as Vancouver’s oldest running professional sports facility.

Situated on the north side of Hastings Park with the North Shore mountains as its backdrop, Hastings Racecourse is not only an iconic horse race betting establishment within the Hastings Sunrise community, but it was the first source of sports entertainment in Vancouver – before the Vancouver Canucks, before Playland, and even before the Pacific National Exhibition!

In its early days, celebrities such as Bob Hope, Mickey Rooney and John Wayne were seen at Hastings amongst large hats and colorful pinstriped suits.

Today, Hastings is best known as the home stable for Mexican-born jockey Mario Gutierrez who in 2012 won the Santa Anita Derby, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes aboard I’ll Have Another. Gutierrez again made recent headlines for winning the 2016 Kentucky Derby aboard Nyquist.

The Racecourse remains an important landmark and destination in Vancouver, nostalgic in nature for Vancouver’s older generation of attendees, and for Vancouver’s younger generation, a snapshot into Vancouver’s oldest and most colorful sports and entertainment traditions.

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