Category: News

Racing Goes Ahead – Friday 13th April

Wednesday 11th April 

Racing Update

Racing goes ahead at Ballinrobe this Friday 13th April. The chases are cancelled. A hurdle race will be divided to make a 6 race card. There will be a new start time of 5:30pm.

Ground is currently heavy. Forecast mainly dry

Ballinrobe Prize-Money For Summer Season To Top €1million


The 2018 Ballinrobe racing season kicks off on April 13, with record prize-money of over €1million on offer at the Mayo track.  An additional date has also been added to the programme which now comprises ten racedays, seven National Hunt meetings and three Flat meetings including 13 feature races. 

The start of the season will also see the completion of the new stone-clad main entrance gateway into the racecourse. This is the final phase of capital development work at Ballinrobe through the Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) Racecourse Capital Development Scheme.

The new entrance, which is set back from the road, will give a greater sense of welcome and make it safer to enter and exit the racecourse.  Previous industry-related works included a significant overhaul of the stable yard incorporating new doors, floors and resurfacing, and a new machinery shed. Younger patrons were delighted with the new children’s soft play area while an extension to the balcony of the first floor bar offering great views over the racecourse was also well received. The combined project spend, with financial assistance from HRI, totalled almost €500k.

John Flannelly, Manager of Ballinrobe Racecourse, said: “We are really looking forward to another racing season here at Ballinrobe, kicking off with the first meeting on Friday evening April 13. We have an extra meeting this year which brings us up to ten meetings in total. We are very fortunate to have great support from the racing public and our generous sponsors every year, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to another great season. We are in the final stages of completion on our new entrance which will further enhance the many developments already carried out here at Ballinrobe.”

One of the highlights of the Ballinrobe fixture list is the McHale Raceday on Tuesday May 29, sponsored by specialist farm machinery company, McHale, now in their fifth year of sponsorship. Feature races on the day include the McHale Mayo National of €40,000 and the McHale Coranna Hurdle of €30,000.

The ever-popular Ladies Day on June 26 will again be sponsored by Vaughan with a cash prize of €1,500 up for grabs.  With shops in Ballinrobe, Claremorris and Castlebar, Vaughan Shoes is one of the leading shoe store chains in the west of Ireland.

The Tote raceday takes place on Monday July 23 which is also family day at Ballinrobe with a whole host of free activities for children, including a bouncy castle, colouring competitions, face painting and much more.

For further information and ticket bookings visit
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)

Galway Girl is the Right Fit for Best Dressed Lady at Ballinrobe Racecourse

Best Dressed Lady at Ballinrobe Races was Caroline Whelan from Ardrahan(Second from right) , pictured reciving her Prize from Sponsors Laura and Ailish Vaughan of Vaughan Shoes. Also pictured is Marietta Doran on left, Judge. Pic:Trish Forde.

Caroline Whelan, a newly-qualified primary school teacher and event planner from Ardrahan in County Galway was the stand-out winner at the Best Dressed Ladies Day at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Tuesday 27th June. Caroline collected the top prize of €1,500 cash and each of the nine runners-up received a goody bag to the value of €130.

Best Dressed Lady at Ballinrobe Races was Caroline Whelan from Ardrahan. Pic:Trish Forde.

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. Caroline’s embellished belt was from eBay, shoes from Pennys and she bought her bag in the Galway Hat Shop.
Caroline said: “I am absolutely shocked but delighted to win Best Dressed Lady competition at Ballinrobe Racecourse, especially when there was such outstanding style here tonight. I started with my wonderful Caithriona King headpiece and built my outfit around that. The cash prize is so generous and I love going racing, so I’m going to spend every penny of it on style for the Galway races.”
Ailish Vaughan of Vaughan Shoes said: “Once again, we are delighted to be associated with ladies day at Ballinrobe Racecourse. The fashion stakes was extremely high and it was brilliant to see all the ladies who made such an effort to dress-up and come to Ballinrobe this evening. Sponsoring ladies day at Ballinrobe Racecourse is the perfect fit for us. Congratulations to Caroline and all the finalists – they looked fantastic. A big thank you also goes to John Flannelly and his team for a great night.”
Judge, Marietta Doran, TV Fashion Stylist and Event MC, remarked: I’ve had the privilege of judging

At Ballinrobe Races pictured was Stylist and TV Presenter Marietta Doran, who was judging the Best Dressed Lady on the Day. Pic:Trish Forde.

the Best Dressed Lady at Ballinrobe Racecourse for many years and I can’t get over how exceptional the style was this evening. It gets bigger and better every year. It’s a great testament to the stylish women of the West and the work Vaughan Shoes and Ballinrobe Racecourse do to promote the event.”
John Flannelly, Ballinrobe Racecourse Manager said: “The Ladies Day has really established itself as one of the best ladies days on the racing calendar. We were blown-away by the turnout and it was great to see so much colourful outfits and headpieces throughout the enclosure. No doubt, Marietta had a very tough job picking her ten finalists. I hope everyone had a great night.”

At Ballinrobe Races pictured were Finalists of the Best Dressed Lady Competition:Left to right: Race Committee Chairman John Staunton, Colleen Brady(Galway City), Michelle Barrett Manning (Belmullett), Isabelle Cummins (Ballinrobe), Paula Gannon(Athlone), Tara Lavin (Corrandulla), Ailish Vaughan(Vaughan Shoes:Ladies Day Sponsors),Best Dressed Lady Caroline Whelan (Ardrahan), Marietta Doran (Judge), Bernie McHale (Castlebar), Gretta Peters(Bansha, Tipperary), Helena Burke(Cong) and Mary Butler(Galway).
Pic:Trish Forde.

Stylist and Fashion Guru Marietta Doran to Judge Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day at Ballinrobe Ladies Day Prizes worth over €2,500 to be Won

Details have been announced for the Best Dressed Lady Competition at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Tuesday 27th June, the Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day.  TV fashion stylist, broadcaster and personal shopper, Marietta Doran will be guest judge, with the lucky winner scooping a cash prize of €1,500, plus gift bags for nine runners-up.

Following the success of last year’s event, local company, Vaughan Shoes are once again supporting the popular evening event, sponsoring the LadiesDay prizes and also the Vaughan Ladies Day Today Handicap. With shops in Ballinrobe, Claremorris and Castlebar, family-owned Vaughan Shoes is one of the leading shoe store chains in the west of Ireland.

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. 

Style Judge, Marietta Doran, commented: “I am really looking forward to judging the Best Dressed Lady competition on Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day at the Ballinrobe Races! This race meeting is one of the highlights of my horse racing calendar because the fashion is always amazing and the atmosphere is simply electric. The Mayo ladies always manage to up the style stakes each year so with that in mind I’ll be looking for head-to-toe glamour.”

The feature race is the Treacy’s Pharmacies Irish EBF Fillies Handicap valued at €26,000, and the first of a seven-race Flat card kicks off at 5:50pm

John Flannelly, Manager of Ballinrobe Racecourse, said: “Ladies Day at Ballinrobe is one of the highlights of the season. There is always a fantastic atmosphere and it is a great social occasion. We are delighted to have many local sponsors here today including Vaughan Shoes who are sponsoring for their third year, and another hugely successful Mayo company, Treacy’s Pharmacies.We greatly appreciate their support.”

The winner of last year’s Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day was Fiona Glynn from Ballinasloe, County Galway, who wore a floral 1950’s prom-style Chi Chi London dress from ASOS and her hat was designed by Leitrim Millinery Jennifer Wynne. 

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

For further information contact: John Flannelly, 087 2895974

Almost 200 School Children Take Part in HRI’s ‘Go Racing Kids Club’ Education Day at Ballinrobe Racecourse

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) held a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ Day at Ballinrobe racecourse on Tuesday 6th June. The objective of the ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ is to educate school children about racing and show them what happens behind-the-scenes at a racecourse. It also builds relationships between the racecourses and their local community, encouraging an affinity with racing which will hopefully produce future racegoers.

Ballinrobe Racecourse manager John Flannelly speaking about Racecourse maintanence. Pic:Trish Forde.

194 fifth and sixth class pupils from seven local schools took part. As part of the day they spent time walking the track with racecourse manager, John Flannelly who explained how the team at Ballinrobe racecourse prepare the track for its racing season.

The beautiful horse Lean Times pictured with Ugne Liukineviciute. Pic:Trish Forde.

Jockey Derek O’Connor and local trainer Michael Flannery spoke to the children about their day-to-day routines as a jockey and racehorse trainer, and Michael introduced them to racehorse Lean Times.

The pupils also received demonstrations from RACE (Racing Academy & Centre of Education) using the racehorse

Gortjordan N.S. pupil goes for Gold at The Go Racing Kids CLub At Ballinrobe Racecourse. Pic:Trish Forde.

simulator and took part in the ‘Front Runner – Racing Club for Kids’ racing-themed games, puzzles and quizzes.

Each pupil received a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ goodie bag which included complimentary tickets for them and their family members to go racing at Ballinrobe family day on Monday July 24th with a whole host of free activities for children, including a bouncy castle, the front runner club, colouring competitions and face painting.

Helen Cunnane, sixth class teacher at St. Joseph’s National School, commented: “The pupils had a very educational morning at the Go Racing Kids Club day at Ballinrobe racecourse. The racecourse is on our door step so it was very interesting to find out what is involved in a raceday.  I think from now on, the pupils will look at racing with new eyes.”