Ballinrobe Racecourse History
NOTE:The badges displayed on this page are not authentic and are for artistic display only.

The County Mayo town of Ballinrobe, on the River Robe, first staged racing as early as 1773 and has continued to offer average, well supported race meetings for over 240 years. That early five day meeting was spread over six days, with a day off for hunting on the Tuesday. On the opening day, Monday 28th June 1773, the £50 race was won by John Burke’s grey mare Armida, while the chief races from Wednesday to Saturday were won by School Boy, Hippolitus on 3 days and Brown Jack. The Racing Calendar reported a six day meeting, starting on Monday 28th June 1775, which was launched with a shock result in the very first race, the 4 year old Stakes, when Lord Altamont’s Sloven at 2/1 ON was defeated by the 3/1 Mulberry. The first recorded steeplechase meeting was staged in 1834, while in the early 1840s the Ballinrobe Challenge Gold Cup was introduced. Racing on the present course was first held in 1921 and continues in the town, offering both Flat and National Hunt meetings, and is the only remaining track in the county. The track is a right handed oval course of 9 furlongs, with 4 hurdles and 6 chase fences, and currently has 10 meetings scheduled in the Calendar from April to September, nine of which are evening meetings.

Although Ballinrobe remains a thriving racecourse, nearby Ballina closed its gates for the final time in 1922.
The Irish racecourse at the town of Ballina, situated on the River Moy, held races for a considerable number of years, although only those staged from the 1830s are noteworthy. Initially meetings were staged on the Mount Falcon course but then moved in the latter part of the 19th century to the Knoxbarret course. Meetings often failed to attract competitive fields; a case in point was the meeting on Saturday 27th April 1889 when only 17 horses contested the five races on the card. Matches, or 3 runner races, would need to involve class horses to attract a crowd, and Ballina races did not involve class horses. The final meeting took place on Friday 23rd June 1922.
I am grateful to Google Maps (© Googlemap) for permission to use the map shown below.

Monday 26th June 1775
Ballinrobe 4 year old Stakes over 2 miles

1. Mulberry, black colt owned by Mr J Burke
2. Sloven, brown colt owned by Lord Altamont
3. Unnamed chestnut horse owned by Mr McCue
1 to 2 Sloven, 3/1 Mulberry
Tuesday 27th June 1775
Ballinrobe 5 year old Stakes over 3 miles

1. Bald Jack, bay horse owned by Lord Altamont
2. Chevalier, a brown gelding owned by Mr J Burke
3. Springer, a chestnut horse owned by Mr W Lambert
Wednesday 28th June 1775
Ballinrobe Open Stakes over 4 miles

1. Lovely Molly, a bay mare owned by Mr Jos. Shadwell
2. Unnamed bay gelding owned by Mr C Nesbitt
3. Armida, a grey mare owned by Mr J Burke
Thursday 29th June 1775
Large Sweepstakes

1. Unnamed bay mare owned by Mr Fenton
Friday 30th June 1775
Ballinrobe 6 year old Stakes over 4 miles

1. Second, a bay horse owned by Mr J Westrop
2. Coiner, grey gelding owned by Mr Jos. Shadwell
Saturday 1st July 1775
Ballinrobe Weight for Age Handicap over 4 miles

1. Lovely Molly, bay mare owned by Mr Jos. Shadwell
2. Unnamed bay gelding owned by Mr C Nesbitt
3. Coiner, grey mare owned by Mr J Westrop

Tuesday 17th August 1841
Ballinrobe Challenge Gold Cup over 1 ½ miles and three 4 ½ feet high walls

1. Anonymous owned and ridden by Mr Moore
2. Miss Matthews owned by Mr Daniel Moore Kilkelly and ridden by J Eyre
3. Kate Kearney owned and ridden by Mr Jennings
4. Parisina owned by Mr Irwin and ridden by John Kelly
5. Tuam Lass owned by Mr James Kelly and ridden by James Joyce

August 1851
Ballinrobe Gold Cup donated by Mr G G O Higgins

1. Fox owned by Mr Kelly and ridden by James Kelly
2. Miss O’Moore owned by Mr Faulkner
3. Kate owned by Mr Kay

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

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