Aintree racecourse;Ascot;Ayr;Bangor;Bath;Beverley;Brighton;Carlisle;Cartmel;Catterick;Cheltenham Festival;Chepstow;Chester;Doncaster St Leger;Epsom Derby;Exeter racecourse;Fakenham;Folkestone;Fontwell Park;Glorious Goodwood;Hamilton Park;Haydock Park;Hereford Racecourse;Hexham;Huntingdon;Kelso;Kempton Park;Leicester;Lingfield;Ludlow;Market Rasen;Musselburgh;Newbury Racecourse;Newcastle;Newmarket;Newton Abbot;Nottingham;Perth;Plumpton;Pontefract Racecourse;Redcar;Ripon;Salisbury;Sandown Park;Sedgefield;Southwell;Stratford;Taunton;Thirsk;Towcester;Uttoxeter;Warwick;Wetherby;Wincanton;Windsor;Wolverhampton;Worcester;Yarmouth;York Ebor

Earliest meeting: Monday 16th September 1844
Final meeting: Wednesday 15th September 1869
The small county Clare coastal town of Kilkee, midway between Kilrush and Doonbeg, is a popular seaside resort today, but in the past it staged regular horse race meetings. In the early part of the 19th century it was merely a small fishing village until, in the 1820s, a paddle steamer began running from Limerick to Kilkee bringing in the tourists. They arrived to enjoy the sun and sand in the horseshoe shaped bay, which is appropriate because within a decade minor horse races were staged on the strand.  Whilst minor races were held prior to 1844, Jonas Studdert of Atlantic Lodge, and Francis O’Donnell from Kilkee, made the meetings more formal with a two day event on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th September 1844, staging such races as the Stewards Plate, Ladies Purse and Visitors Plate. Over the next few years Jonas Studdert introduced a set of rules to ensure the races ran smoothly, including a rule which stated ‘Any jockey appearing at the scales in different colours to those named in the entry will be fined One Sovereign which must be paid before starting, otherwise he will be disqualified’. Meetings continued annually, with crowds swelled for the two day meeting on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th September 1851 by the paddle steamers Garryowen and Erin-go-Bragh running an efficient service for racing enthusiasts. At that meeting the main Open Flat race over a mile and a half was won by Cavelier (sic) owned by Felix McCarthy who got the better of Alexina in the minimum of two heats. By the 1860s both Flat racing and steeplechasing was held in the town, with the meeting on Friday 20th September 1861 staged on the ‘Fouagh’ course. The crowd was down on previous years when the Kilkee Plate was won by Mr O’Molony’s Colleen Bawn; the second race by Mr Kirby’s Katty Darling and the final race by Mr Loyd’s Kate Fisher. Some high powered stewards oversaw the two day meeting on Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th September 1869, held on the ‘Fooagh’ steeplechase course. The Marquis Conyngham headed the stewards, ably supported by Captain Butler and Major MacDonnell, but it was to be the last meeting widely covered in the newspapers.  The end of the harvest is still celebrated today with a two day race meeting in September when the beach is used once again, employing poles pitched at appropriate distances to mark out the course.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons

Marquis Conyngham, Mr Jonas Studdert, Captain Butler, Major MacDonald

Principal Races

Kilkee Handicap, Kilkee Open Flat Race, Kilkee Stewards Plate

Monday 15th September 1851
Kilkee Open Flat Race over 1 ½ miles
1. Cavelier, chestnut gelding owned by Felix McCarthy 1 1
2. Alexina, chestnut mare owned by Mr Gavin 2 2
3. Roller, bay gelding owned by Mr Jonas Studdert 3 3

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 15th September 1869.
Course today Annually on the strands, with steeplechasing held in the past on the Fooagh course.
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.
Download an order form
  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    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to