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Earliest meeting: Monday 1st July 1751
Final meeting: Wednesday 25th May 1887
The Irish racecourse at the town of Castlebar, the County town of Mayo, served the town and its surrounding villages from 1751. The ‘Historical List of Horse Matches run’ recorded a two day meeting took place on Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd July 1751 when the principal race was the Castlebar Plate for 30 Guineas. The meeting proved to be popular and continued to be held annually, often spread over 6 days, until 1887. Ordinaries were served in the Castlebar Hotel prior to racing and Assemblies held there each evening. However, ‘Castlebar Races’ occupies a much more important place in history because during the Irish Rebellion a combined force of 2000 French and Irish troops, led by General Humbert, resisted 6000 British militia on 27th August 1798. The ‘heroes of Castlebar Races’ were celebrated in a grand centenary event in September 1898. Races continued in the town and were also held in nearby Breaffy, with the 1830s meetings referred to as the Breaffy and Castlebar Races. The final meeting at Castlebar was held on Wednesday 25th May 1887.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain Gore
Principal Races Castlebar Plate, Castlebar 30 Guineas Sweepstake

Monday 1st July 1751

Castlebar £30 Plate
1. Maidenhead, mare owned by Captain Gore 4 1 1
2. Fearnought, horse owned by Mr Dillon 2 2 2
3. Starling, horse owned by Mr Blake 3 3 dist
4. Veteran, horse owned by Mr Daly 1 dist

Tuesday 2nd July 1751

Castlebar £30 race for 5 and 6 year olds
1. The Healer of Cashel, mare owned by Mr Kissin 1 1
2. Unnamed mare by Starling owned by Mr Dillon 2 dist
3. Unnamed horse by Whitefoot owned by Mr Cole 3 dist
4. Unnamed horse by Taffy owned by Mr Borris 4 dist

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 25th May 1887.
Course today In fields to the south of the town centre.
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    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
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