From its humble beginnings in 1921, Ballinrobe Racecourse has grown to be one of the leading tracks in Ireland. Its location, modern facilities and high standards in every sense has struck a chord with racing enthusiasts that has seen the Mayo track place its name high up on the racing calendar.
To celebrate 90 years of racing at Ballinrobe, race goers were treated to a wonderful evening of entertainment.
The first paying 90 customers into the track received a free €10 bet with the on-course bookmakers. It was Mad Hatters Day, which had a prize fund of €1,000 sponsored by www.thefashionshed.com. Paula Rabbitte of www.thefashionshed.com and Alan Murphy of Galway Bay FM judged the most quirky and creative hats and outfits on display. The €1,000 prize fund included vouchers from Shine Boutique in Claremorris, thefashionshed.com and a headpiece by Fiona Mangan Millinery with lots of other goodies thrown in.
Those with a sweet tooth were to be found around The Pavilion to grab a slice of the huge celebratory cake.
There was a special Ballinrobe Races 90th Anniversary Hurdle, with €16,000 in prize money sponsored by the race committee.
Racecourse manager John Flannelly was delighted to reach what is a major milestone for Ballinrobe Races. “It’s great to reach our 90th anniversary. All credit is due to the committees down through the years for their work and great foresight during difficult times. We must pay tribute to the wonderful people who first set up racing in Ballinrobe back in 1921 and thank all those who have contributed to make Ballinrobe Racecourse what it is today.
“It’s very pleasing to be involved during these times. So much has been achieved and looking forward, there is still more to be done. By the time we get to our 100th anniversary we would hope to have one of the best tracks in the country with an excellent surface,” said John, who noted that 2011 has been a very good year with great betting figures recorded.
The McHale Engineering Maiden, The Burleigh Accountants Handicap, The Costello McDermott Maiden Hurdle, The Ballinrobe Races 90th Anniversary Hurdle, The Tim Kelly Electrical Maiden Hurdle and The Broderick’s Electrical Handicap Hurdle were all sponsored races for the card.
“The anniversary was a chance for Ballinrobe Races to celebrate but it was also an opportunity for us to say thanks to the sponsors, the public and the many people behind the scenes who make Ballinrobe what it is. Everyone who has ever contributed to racing here in any shape or form can be proud of what they have helped achieve.”
Entertainment in the form of Streetwise will performed in the Carra Bar.
Don’t forget to follow the latest news on Ballinrobe Racecourse on www.ballinroberacecourse.ie and on Facebook.com/BallinrobeRaces.
Come for the racing – you’ll stay for the welcome.