BOYLE RACECOURSE

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arliest meeting: Monday 6th May 1754
Final meeting: Tuesday 8th June 1915

The County Roscommon town of Boyle lies at the foot of the Curlew Mountains near to Lough Key. It has a famous history due to its proximity to the Curlew Pass which was the site of the Battle of Curlew Pass on 15th August 1599. The battle was between an English force led by Sir Conyers Clifford, and the opposing Irish force under Aodh Rua O’Donall. One of the most iconic buildings in the town is the King House, a Georgian Mansion built originally for Sir Henry King, who was Boyle’s MP between 1720 and 1740. It eventually was handed down to Edward King, also an MP, who became the first Earl of Kingston. About this time Boyle had its own races which are first mentioned in the Racing Calendar of 1754. The six day meeting required some stamina and opened on Monday 6th May with a mammoth 200 Guineas Prize which was won by Lord Antrim’s Gustavus who got the better of Mr Knox’s Ajax. The next day Fearnought landed a £50 Plate confined to Irish bred horses. Although racing lapsed in the early part of the 18th century, meetings were revived on Wednesday 23rd March 1859 when the card began with a lowly Sweepstake which was won by Mr P Conmee’s Tailor. Meetings continued to be held, predominantly on the Lisserdrea course about 2 miles from Boyle, until the final meeting took place on Tuesday 8th June 1915. At 4.20pm the humble June Steeplechase was contested and brought the curtains down on racing at Boyle.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Earl of Kingston, Lord Antrim, Lord Mazareen, Sir Ralph Gore
Principal Races Boyle 200 Guineas Sweepstakes, Boyle £50 Plate for Irish bred horses

6th May 1754

Boyle 200 Guineas Sweepstakes
1. Gustavus, bay horse owned by Lord Antrim
2. Ajax, bay horse owned by Mr Knox

7th May 1754

Boyle £50 Plate for Irish bred horses
1. Fearnought, bay horse owned by Mr O’Neil
2. Jack Daw, black horse owned by Lord Mazareen
3. Tamerlain, bay horse owned by Mr John Brown

8th May 1754

Boyle £50 Four year old Stakes
1. Unnamed chestnut filly owned by Mr Dougherty
2. Unnamed colt owned by Mr Mahon
3. Unnamed bay colt owned by Mr McDermot
4. Unnamed roan colt owned by Sir Ralph Gore

9th May 1754

Boyle £50 Purse for 5 & 6 year olds
1. Viper, chestnut horse owned by Mr O’Neill
2. Tartar, chestnut horse owned by Mr Knox
3. Miss Pepper, chestnut mare owned by Mr Dougherty

10th May 1754

Boyle £50 Prize for maidens
1. Steady, chestnut horse owned by Mr Knox
2. Poppet, bay horse owned by Mr Howard

11th May 1754

Boyle £50 Stakes
1. Gustavus, bay horse owned by Lord Antrim
2. Beau, grey horse owned by Mr Walpole
3. Black Joke, black mare owned by Mr Dillon

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 8th June 1915
Course today On the Lisserdrea course about 2 miles from Boyle.
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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

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 johnwslusar@gmail.com 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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