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Earliest meeting: Monday 18th September 1749
Final meeting: Saturday 17th October 1789
The County Galway village of Eyrecourt on the River Shannon, also called Donanaghta, staged its own races despite having a population of less than 300, starting in the middle of the 18th century. The earliest record of a meeting was on Monday 18th September 1749 on a racecourse at Keenshane near Eyrecourt. The results from a four day meeting, beginning on Monday 24th August 1761, were included in the ‘Historical List of Horse Races and Matches run in 1761’, with the opening Weight for Age Handicap going to Mr Knox’s Diana, beating Freemason and Spot. Later in the week Chaffinch won the 4 year old Stakes, Modesty the 3 mile race and Mr Wilkinson’s Conqueror won the 4 mile race on the concluding day. The next year the meeting extended to a full six days from Monday 30th August to Saturday 4th September. On the opening day Gimcrack was successful for Lord Mount Eagle, and five days later the Whim Plate was secured by Mr Lambert with Grizella. Races continued regularly until a final meeting of note was staged from Monday 12th to Saturday 17th October 1789.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain O'Brien, Lord Mount Eagle, Captain Trenche, Sir Edward O'Brien, Sir R Gore
Principal Races The Whim Stakes, Eyrecourt Weight for Age

24th August 1761

Eyrecourt Weight for Age
1. Diana, chestnut mare owned by Mr Knox
2. Free Mason, bay horse owned by Mr Lambert
3. Spot, grey horse owned by Sir R Gore

25th August 1761

Eyrecourt 4 year old Stakes over 2 miles
1. Chaffinch, bay horse owned by Mr Daly
2. Unnamed chestnut horse owned by Mr Knox
3. Unnamed grey horse owned by Mr Nesbit

27th August 1761

Eyrecourt 3 mile Race
1. Modesty, owned by Mr Donellan (walked over)

28th August 1761

Eyrecourt 4 mile Race
1. Conqueror, bay horse owned by Mr Wilkinson
2. Game Cock, bay gelding owned by Mr Plunket

Monday 30th August to Saturday 4th September 1762

Eyrecourt 4 Year Old Stakes
1. Gimcrack owned by Lord Mount Eagle
2. Roebuck owned by Mr Boland
3. Smiling Molly owned by Mr Eyre

Eyrecourt 6 Year Old Stakes
1. Promise owned by Mr Forster
2. Goliab owned by Mr Armstrong
3. Candidate owned by Lord Mount Eagle

Eyrecourt 4 Mile Stakes
1. Brutus owned by Captain O’Brien
2. Trifle owned by Mr Blake
3. Gade owned by Mr Huson

Eyrecourt Match
1. Dorrymont owned by Sir Edward O’Brien
2. Chaffinch owned by Mr Daly

The Whim Plate
1. Grizella owned by Mr Lambert
2. Denty owned by Colonel Trenche
3. Slow Boat owned by Mr Eyre

The final meeting took place on Saturday 17th October 1789.
Course today On the Keenshane course close to 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

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