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Earliest meeting: Tuesday 22nd March 1881
Final meeting: Monday 4th June 1906
The county Clare village of Killaloe, on the River Shannon, is connected to its twin town of Ballina by the Killaloe bridge. It held its inaugural race meeting, organised by Mr Valentine J R Dunbar, on Tuesday 22nd March 1881 generously supported by Railway and Steamship companies. The Waterford and Limerick Railway Company agreed to transport all horses to and from the meeting free of charge, as did the Lower Shannon Steamship Company. The day opened with the Shannon Plate over 2 miles which saw Mr B O’Donnell’s Minerva defeat Matilda II and Molly, while the principal race, the Kincora Cup, was won by Mr J Ryan’s Fashioner. Later in the afternoon the Killaloe Plate was won by Captain Batson’s Catalpa at the expense of Moody. It was regarded as a difficult course for jockeys to ride, but it was second to none for its setting, with a view of Lough Dearg and the Clare hills in the background. Meetings continued intermittently for 25 years before the final card took place on Monday 4th June 1906.

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

Mayor of Limerick, Captain Twiss, Mr Valentine J R Dunbar

Principal Races Kincora Cup, Killaloe Plate, Shannon Plate

Tuesday 22nd March 1881
Kincora Cup over 2 ½ miles
1. Fashioner, 6 year old owned by Mr J Ryan
2. Queen Anne, 4 year old owned by Mr M J Kenny
3. Sir Williams, 6 year old owned by Mr Alexander
Betting: Evens Ned of the Hills, 6/4 Fleetway, 2/1 Fashioner

The final meeting took place on Monday 4th June 1906.
Course today A course set out in fields by Valentine Dunbar on the outskirts 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

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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