About the Terrier Derby

Canine Anarchy

Since 1780 the historic Epsom Racecourse has been the home of the world-famous Derby.

Since 2003 it has also has been the scene of canine anarchy as dozens of barking mad terriers compete in the Terrier Derby. An unmissable slice of nonsense that also raises an ever-increasing amount for charities and keeps all number of canine hooligans off the street.

Hilarious Spectacle

There are 16 heats followed by quarter and semi finals leading up to the grand final, with the terriers chasing a lure towed by a (not so) state of the art contraption. It is an hilarious spectacle for audience and participants alike, with a raffle, fun dog show, doggy trade stands, food and other attractions.

Equal Opportunities Event

The Terrier Derby is an equal opportunities race. As well as terriers, it is open to any breed up to 15″ at the shoulder, just £5 to enter, with all proceeds going to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Our History

The Terrier Derby was inspired by my Jack Russell Smudge who, having had a couple of goes at country fairs, became completely obsessed with racing.

He was the “model” for the Terrier Derby dog and jockey image. First held in front of the Epsom grandstand, it started as a side event of the Epsom Trainers Day in 2003, with about 16 terriers and won by (you guessed it) Smudge, who also won the following year.

Since then it has grown to over 70 dogs competing for the coveted prize. In 2023, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the event.