DUNLAVIN RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 20th September 1785
Final meeting: Saturday 24th September 1785

The county Wexford village of Dunlavin is a settlement founded in 1658 by the Bulkely family who originated from Cheshire. It is located 30 miles south west of Dublin, close to the Curragh, which seems highly appropriate given that it held its own races in 1785. Originally the meeting was scheduled to start on Monday 19th September with a Hunters race over 4 miles, although the result was not reported in newspapers or the Racing Calendar. Entries for the entire meeting were made at Mr Abel Woodman’s house, and each day racing concluded with an Ordinary and a Ball. The five day meeting actually began on Tuesday 20th September 1785 with a three year old Sweepstake over 3 miles which was won by Mr Edward’s Fitzherod filly. However, the prize was claimed by the second passed the post, Mr Dennis with his Gamahoe colt, because the jockey aboard the filly dismounted before returning to the winning post. The next day a Weight for Age Handicap was claimed by Mr Brownrigg’s Leinster, while on subsequent days the winners were Mr Bateman’s Hob, Mr Dunn’s bay mare and Colonel Lumm’s Prancer. Although racing had taken place prior to this meeting, the cards included half-breds and ponies; indeed pony racing was still taking place in the village in the late 19th century.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Clanwilliams, Sir James Trent, Colonel Lumm
Principal Races Sir James Trent Plate, Dunlavin Weight for Age Handicap

Wednesday 21st September 1785
Dunlavin Weight for Age Handicap over 4 miles
1. Leinster, 5 year old owned by Mr Brownrigg
2. Unnamed 6 year old grey mare owned by Mr Hamilton
3. Shoemaker filly owned by Mr J Cooper

The final meeting took place on Saturday 24th September 1785.
Course today In fields on the edge 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 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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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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