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Earliest meeting: Thursday 17th April 1879
Final meeting: April 1885
The County Westmeath townland of Ballard is located 3 miles north west of Mullingar and in the latter part of the 19th century it hosted Kilbeggan races for a 7 year period. The inaugural meeting at the new course was held on Thursday 17th April 1879 when the course proved controversial due to its tricky fences. Improvements were made in 1881 for the meeting held on Thursday 28th April. The nasty bank with a hollow dip had proved difficult and dangerous the year before and was left out, with 2 easier fences substituted. The opening Farmers’ race over 2 ½ miles was won by Little Agnes for Mr J Cole, beating Midge. However, the feature race was the Kilbeggan Challenge Cup which went to Will o’ the Wisp despite the persistent challenge of Captain Butson’s Silverstream. Meetings continued at this course for a further 4 years before racing in Kilbeggan lapsed for 19 years, returning in September 1901 at Loughnagore.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Captain Butson, Major Grant

Principal Races Kilbeggan Challenge Cup 

Thusday 28th April 1881
Kilbeggan Challenge Cup over 2 ½ miles
1. Will o’ the Wisp, 6 year old owned by Mr C Coffey
2. Silverstream, 6 year old owned by Captain Butson
3. The Goat, aged horse owned by Major Grant

The final meeting took place in April 1885.
Course today A challenging 2 ½ mile course in the townland of Ballard.
If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email

Much of the information about this course has been found using internet research and is in the public domain. However, useful research sources have been:-

London Illustrated News

Racing Illustrated 1895-1899

The Sporting & Dramatic Illustrated

Northern Turf History Volumes 1-4 by J.Fairfax-Blakeborough

The Sporting Magazine

A Long Time Gone by Chris Pitt first published in 1996 ISBN 0 900599 89 8

Racing Calendars which were first published in 1727

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
Download an order form
  Quantity Cost
Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
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