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Earliest meeting: Thursday 5th March 1868
Final meeting: Thursday 29th April 1869
The County Kildare inland village of Castledermot, 6 miles from Carlow and 46 miles from Dublin, is in the south east of Ireland and once held race meetings in the latter part of the 19th century. The meetings were the brainchild of George Payne and first took place on Thursday 5th March 1868.  The Castledermot Steeplechase Plate over 1 ½ miles was won by Mr J P Fitzpatrick’s Cuckoo, beating Stephens and Longrange, while the Johnstown Stakes saw Welcome beat Daisy and Tabinet. The second and final meeting on Thursday 29th April 1869 took place on the Johnstown course, midway between Athy and Castledermot, with entries confined to people resident within a ten mile radius of Castledermot. The meeting opened with the Open Handicap which was won by Mr Byrne’s Safe Home beating Cripple, while the main event, the Johnstown Plate, was won by Bushman. After racing a magnificent dinner was organised at Hoey’s Hotel.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Mr George Payne, Mr Robert Archbald, Mr William Johnson (Stewards)
Principal Races

Castledermot Plate, Johnstown Plate

Thursday 29th April 1869
Johnstown Plate over 1 ½ miles
1. Bushman, chestnut gelding owned by Mr J Foley
2. Dan, bay gelding owned by Mr G Bourk
3. Gay Times, bay gelding owned by Mr T Wilson

The final meeting took place on Thursday 29th April 1869.
Course today At the Johnstown racecourse midway between Athy and Castledermot.
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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  Quantity Cost
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    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
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