Category: News

€1,500 cash prize for Best Dressed Lady at Ballinrobe

Details have been announced for the Best Dressed Lady Competition at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Tuesday 26th June, the Ladies Day.  TV fashion stylist, broadcaster and personal shopper, Marietta Doran will be guest judge, with the lucky winner scooping a fantastic cash prize of €1,500.

Following the success of last year’s event, local company, Vaughan Shoes are once again supporting the popular evening event, sponsoring the Ladies Day competition. With shops in Ballinrobe, Claremorris and Castlebar, family-owned Vaughan Shoes is one of the leading shoe store chains in the west of Ireland. Vaughan Shoes recently won Irelands Best New Website 2018 at the Retail Excellence awards.

There is no pre-registration for the competition, just simply look out for the Best Dressed judge and spotters on the day.  The finalists will be announced after the fifth race. 

The feature race is the Treacy’s Pharmacies Irish EBF Fillies Handicap valued at €25,000, and the first of a seven-race Flat card kicks off at 5:45pm

Donal Vaughan of Vaughan Shoes “We are delighted to be associated with Ladies Day at Ballinrobe Racecourse or the fourth year in a row. Ladies Day has become an important event in the Ballinrobe racing calendar and each year the standard just seems to be getting better and better and the effort put in never ceases to amaze me. Sponsoring ladies day at Ballinrobe Racecourse is the perfect fit for us.”

John Flannelly, Manager of Ballinrobe Racecourse, said: “Ladies Day has become the social highlight of the year at Ballinrobe Racecourse. Once again we are delighted to have as our main sponsor and Marietta Doran as our fashion judge. We are looking forward to a great evening on June 26th”

The winner of last year’s Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day was Caroline Whelan, a newly-qualified primary school teacher and event planner from Ardrahan in County Galway. Caroline wore a royal blue jumpsuit from Sarah Jane Boutique in Magherafelt in County Derry and her headpiece was by Galway-based milliner Caithriona King.

Keep up to date with all the latest news and competitions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Raceday tickets can be purchased online at, or contact the office on 094-9541811, email:

IRISH RACING PREVIEW: Top-notch Tuesday racing at Ballinrobe

Tuesday, May 29
First Race: 5.30
Fresh from landing her first Classic success at the Curragh on Sunday when Alpha Centauri won the Irish 1,000 Guineas, Jessica Harrington will be bidding to advertise her versatility yet again, by teeing up A Sizing Network for McHale Mayo National Handicap Chase [8.00] at Ballinrobe.
A Sizing Network didn’t get home over 3m2f last time at Killarney but is sure to be suited by stepping back in trip in the feature race at the County Mayo track. 
Standing in Harrington’s way is trainer John Ryan, responsible for Kilcarry Bridge, a grand 11-year-old bidding to record back-to-back successes in the race.
Noel Meade, who was among the winners at the track on Monday, runs Net D’Ecosse, the Gigginstown-owned gelding coming into the valuable contest off the back of an impressive victory at Kilbeggan.
Racing at Ballinrobe begins at 5.30pm and the ground at the venue is good. 
Irish racing previews and news bulletins are brought to you by Horse Racing Ireland and the Racing Post

IRISH RACING PREVIEW: Dawn Shadow the star on show at Ballinrobe on Monday

Monday, May 28
First Race: 5.30 (7 races)
Confidence is high that Dawn Shadow, winner of a valuable mares’ novice hurdle at the Punchestown festival, can continue her upward curve in the feature Monroe’s Live Mares Handicap Hurdle (6.30) at Ballinrobe on Monday evening.
The mare’s trainer Dot Love enjoyed plenty of success for Dawn Shadow’s owner Sean Riley, chiefly with Shadow Eile, who is a sister to the dam of this runner.
Next in the weights is Pat Fahy’s Awayinthewest, who has placed seven times over hurdles but remains a maiden in this sphere.
The Jessica Harrington-trained Flaviana, last seen finishing down the field behind Stormy Ireland in a Listed mares’ hurdle at Killarney, is another interesting contender in the ten-runner contest.
The Bank of Ireland Handicap Chase (8.00) sees the consistent Crocodile Dundee try to register another success for the Tralee father and son team of Bryan and Tom Cooper. 
The first of seven races is due off at 5.30 and the going is good.

Fifth Year of Race Sponsorship for McHale of Ballinrobe

20% Online Discount for McHale Raceday Admission Tickets

Pictured at the launch of McHale Race Day, at Ballinrobe Races were:Left to right:Padraic McHale(McHale: Sponsor), Racecourse Manager John Flannelly, Paul McHale(McHale:Sponsor), Race Committee Chairman John Staunton. Pic:Trish Forde.

The McHale raceday, one of the highlights of the 2018 Ballinrobe fixtures list, sponsored by local specialist farm machinery company, McHale, takes place on Tuesday May 29, part of the two-day National Hunt May racing festival at Ballinrobe.
The feature race on Tuesday, the McHale Mayo National, won last year by Kilcarry Bridge, trained by John Patrick Ryan, is valued at €40,000, making it the most valuable race at Ballinrobe this year.  Another highlight of the evening is the McHale Coranna Handicap, worth €30,000.
Monday evening May 28 is an all National Hunt card featuring the €30,000 Monroes Live Mares Handicap.
Racing begins at 5:30pm on both evenings and racegoers can also enjoy live music by Streetwise in the Mask Pavilion.
John Flannelly, Manager of Ballinrobe Racecourse, said:
“We are really looking forward to the McHale raceday on Tuesday evening, May 29. We are very fortunate to have great support from the racing public and our generous sponsors and neighbours McHale and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to another great McHale raceday.”
Padraic McHale, Managing Director of McHale, commented:
“We are delighted to be sponsoring Ballinrobe Races for the fifth year in a row. As neighbours and friends our relationship has grown down through the years so we are glad to be involved in the races this year. McHale raceday has proved a great success over the last four years with everyone thoroughly enjoying the event. Let’s hope the weather is good on May 29th.”
Book online HERE and receive a special 20% discount off McHale raceday admission tickets. There are also great offers available to groups – for further information contact the office on 094-9541811, email:
Ballinrobe Fixtures 2018

Friday 13th April (e)
Tuesday 1st May (e)
Monday 28th May (e)
Tuesday 29th May (e)
Tuesday 26th June(e)
Monday 23rd July (e)
Tuesday 24th July (e)
Monday 13th August (e)
Tuesday 28th August (e)
Friday 21st September (e)

At the launch of McHale Race Day at Ballinrobe Races, pictured were:Left to right:Padraic McHale(McHale: Sponsor), Racecourse ManagerJohn Flannelly, Paul McHale (McHale:Sponsor), Race Committee Chairman John Flannelly.
Pic:Trish Forde.

MayoDay Logo

2018 sees the arrival of an incredible new flagship event Made of Mayo, taking place in the beautifully situated Ballinrobe Racecourse, which will be transformed into a hive of Mayo Day celebration and artistic wonderment, with something for all the family, admission is free and the event will run from 12.00 – 18.00.

Speaking about Mayo Day at the launch of Made of Mayo Peter Hynes, Chief Executive at Mayo County Council outlined: “One of the original and ongoing aims of Mayo Day is to promote County Mayo nationally and internationally as a positive location for business and tourism and to further enhance the image of Mayo as a progressive ‘Will Do’ County and the Heartbeat of the Wild Atlantic Way. Now in its fourth year Mayo Day has grown and now garners support from all corners of the globe.  Made of Mayo provides an opportunity for much of the creative talent in our County to be showcased and enjoyed at this stunning venue for the people of Mayo and beyond”

The multifaceted event will include a spellbinding Mayo Artists Exhibition featuring artworks from the best of Mayo artists, and artists inspired by their time in county Mayo. Coordinated by Mayo County Council Arts Office, and selected by director of the iconic RHA, Patrick T. Murphy this inaugural exhibition will reveal the true inspiration of County Mayo as seen through the eyes of the most talented artists.

Made of Mayo will have so much more to be explored including the Literary Loungea place of celebration of Mayo writing. Many people are unaware of the major success garnered by Mayo’s current young writers*, the Literary Lounge will tell their stories and celebrate their successes, with writers’ pictures and biographies, a bookshop selling Mayo books, signings, readings, talks, story-telling and a puppet show for the little writers of the future. Writers involved at the event include Elizabeth ReapeyTerry MacDonaghHelen Falconer, Faith Hogan, poet Ger ReidyBernard O Hara, and Michael Mullen with more to be announced. To add to the celebration of Mayo’s literary landscape, an exhibition of never-before seen photographs from the Liam Lyons Collection accompanied by a display of recently restored old maps of the Ballinrobe area, will be also be on view for the first time.

Formally announcing Made of Mayo as the flagship event for Mayo Day 2018 Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Richard Finn says: “Mayo Day is a celebration of the ‘Spirit of Mayo in communities worldwide, an acknowledgement of all that is great about our County and its people, a day in the calendar year that Mayo people can claim for themselves.  Made of Mayo on Mayo Day is a fitting way to celebrate our achievements and success by showcasing the finest of art, craft, design, food, music, sport and more. I would like to invite families across the County to attend what promises to be a superb event at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Mayo Day 2018”

Made of Mayo will also have lots of activities to choose from at its Workshop Hub. Well-known local chef Ronan Fox will be on-hand to teach how to flip pizzas and add the most delicious toppings at his Pizza Making workshop. Mayo Roads Safety Authority’s interactive Screen-Printing Workshop will be the first of its kind at a Mayo Day celebration. Families can work together in printing Mayo Day 2018 safety messages on high-vis bibs to take home with them, ensuring that all the family are safe and seen for Mayo Day and beyond. Haley Coleman’s Live Make-Up Demonstrations will also take place in the Workshop Hub, teaching her many tricks-of-the-trade to those lucky enough to grab a space at this free-ticketed event. *

No family event would be complete without a sports section to get the competitive juices flowing! The Sports Enclosure will include sports-drills and workshops from some of Mayo’s finest sports-people in rugby, football and many other realms. Andy Moran’s very popular team from The Movement will be on site to put participants through their paces through exercise and training skills, while Connacht Rugby’s Dave Heffernan will be on hand to run the very exciting Rugby Hub within the Sports Enclosure. More details including event timings and all sports personalities who will be involved are soon to be announced. The Sports Enclosure will also include the highly-anticipated inaugural Made of Mayo Hobby Horse Derby! An opportunity for friends and family to race each other and potentially some other well-known Mayo personalities, all whilst running with a hobby horse – this highly competitive race will be a must-see element of the day!

The Made of Mayo Craft & Design Showcase is an opportunity for premium artisans and designers to display their valued work in relaxed showcase environment. This opportunity allows people to purchase products and goods of the best and brightest local craftspeople in the county, and by doing so supporting local for Mayo Day 2018. We invite all businesses who produce products and goods in Mayo to *get in touch and let us know if they would like to be involved in this exciting element of Made of Mayo.

Music celebration and gastronomic delights await in the Music & Food Village, guests can enjoy tasty fare from Enrica’s Chocolates and Cabots Food of Westport, all the while being spellbound be the electrifying performances of Hit Machine Drummers and Cronin, whose popularity continues to dominate on the live music scene. And to really give a festival feel to proceedings food concessions will flank the central area of Made of Mayo with Mack & Spud, Clew Bay Cookiesand Killary Fjord Shellfish to name but a few selling their delicious hot and ambient food offerings. Special guests to the music and food line-up will be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more exciting additions to the Music & Food Village.

2018 is Bliain na Gaeilge and what better way to celebrate Mayo’s rich Irish language heritage than by getting involved in La Mhaigh Eo at Made of Mayo. Representing Mayo’s three Gaeltacht regions the La Mhaigh Eo area will have live music, Sean Nos dancing and lots more craic agus ceol, including an opportunity for teenagers to win vouchers to Mayo Gaeltachtaí for summer 2018, competition details will be announced at the event!

So much more will be announced in the coming weeks, we ask that you keep an eye on and your inboxes for additional press releases and help us get the word out about all there is to enjoy at Mayo Day 2018’s Made of Mayo!