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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 13th February 1844
Final meeting: Monday 23rd March 1857
The county Westmeath village of Ballymore is located between Athlone and Mullingar, close to the ancient ceremonial site of the Hill of Uisneach. In the middle of the 19th century the village organised a series of race meetings, often in conjunction with the local fair. One of the earliest of some note was held on Tuesday 13th February 1844 on a 2 mile grassland course within a quarter of a mile of the village. The principal race, the Ballymore Challenge Cup donated by the Stewards, was won by Mr Fitzgerald’s Allspice after 2 demanding heats. Races were held annually for the next 13 years with the highlight of each meeting being the Magan Cup. At the meeting on Monday 13th December 1847 John Malone recorded his third success in the Cup with Insect and, in accordance with the rules, was allowed to keep the cup. The Challenge Cup saw Mr De Blacquierre’s Hardbrush beat Pride. The meeting was always nomadic and on Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th March 1850 the steeplechase course was located a mile from Ballymore when the Open Military Steeplechase saw Zarina beat The Rector and St Pierre. The final noteworthy meeting was staged on Monday 23rd March 1857, although minor meetings were held after this date.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Magan, Mr Fitzgerald, Mr John Malone
Principal Races Magan Cup, Ballymore Challenge Cup, Open Military Steeplechase

Monday 13th December 1847
Magan Cup
1. Insect, bay mare owned by Mr John Malone
2. Cruikshank, bay gelding owned by Mr N J Moorhead
3. Blackfoot, bay gelding owned by Mr B G Levinge
4. Spider, bay horse owned by Captain Magan

The final meeting took place on Monday 23rd March 1857.
Course today At a range of courses all within the vicinity of the village.
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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Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
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