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Earliest meeting: Monday 28th June 1773
Final meeting: Continues to race
The Irish racecourse at the town of Ballinrobe, on the River Robe, is in County Mayo and first staged racing as early as 1773. 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. Racing has been staged in the town for over 240 years and although the racing is often of a modest quality, it is a well-managed track and well supported by locals. Today the track is a right handed oval course of 9 furlongs, with 4 hurdles and 6 chase fences and the town offers both Flat and National Hunt racing, and is the only remaining track in the county.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Altamont, Mr Jos. Shadwell, Mr D Ruttledge, Mr J H Ormsby, Mr V J Blake
Principal Races Ballinrobe Open Stakes, Cloona Castle Handicap Plate

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 2nd July 1896

The Cloona Castle Handicap Plate over 1 ½ miles
1. Bravo owned by Mr J H Ormsby
2. Gramachree owned by Mr L McGuinness
3. Defiance owned by Mr Robinson

Tuesday 5th July 1898

The Cloona Castle Handicap Plate over a mile
Alfio owned by Mr V J Blake
Actea owned by Mr D Ruttledge
Sweet Sea owned by Mr D Ruttledge

The course continues to operate successfully.
Course today

On the Castlebar road north west of Ballinrobe.

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.
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