History of Penang Turf Club
A Brief History of Penang Turf Club
Founded in 1864, Penang Turf Club (PTC) is the first and oldest existing horse racing club in Malaysia with world-class racing sport facilities. With over 155 years in of history, PTC today provides public with quality horse racing as sports and leisure entertainment through the years.
The first ponies from England arrived in Penang (formerly known as Prince of Wales Island) as soon as Francis Light hoisted the Union Jack in 1786 at the Esplanade in honour of George, Prince of Wale, who later became King George IV.
The Club received a free land grant in Macalister Road for its course of seven furlongs and 81 3/4 yards.
Here, the first stands and buildings built from wood and “attap” ( thatch made from palm fronds) were put up in 1869 and a small annual meeting was started. Back then, the Prizemoney was never more than $600 for the whole session.
The racecourse became a venue of recreation for the English gentlemen and ladies as the sport was made exclusive to the Europeans. Even then, the influence of the East was prevalent, as can be seen in a trophy laced with Chinese dragons in 1878.
By 1898, Penang was holding two meetings a year, two days in January and two in July, known as the Spring and Autumn races. Prizemoney for the year totalled $5,950. Race days were usually on Wednesdays and Saturdays and were declared public holidays in the Straits Settlement of Penang.
In the present days, PTC has coordinated an infinite amount of horse races in Penang. We regularly open our premises and organises wide-ranging community and lifestyle recreational activities for public visitors to enjoy, as part of PTC’s contributions to the community.