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Earliest meeting: Monday 28th April 1806
Final meeting: Thursday 1st October 1896
The historic county Waterford town of Lismore, close to the River Blackwater, boasts an 800 year old castle built on the site of an ancient monastery. The town held races in the early part of the 19th century, with a three day meeting staged from Monday 28th to Wednesday 30th April 1806 when a Silver Cup was contested each day. The next year the Lismore Silver Cup was the feature event on the two day card which ran from Friday 17th to Saturday 18th April 1807. By the 1840s the town was staging Annual Harvest Races on a course within 5 miles of Lismore, on the estate of Lord Stuart De Deceis, where the main 4 mile steeplechase and the Hurdle race were both won by Mr Power’s black gelding. Racing lapsed for a while before returning on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th October 1851 on a new course containing 17 good hunting fences over sporting country closer to the town. Racing returned again in October 1859 on a course set in a picturesque area celebrated for its great and varied natural scenery near to its princely castle. The next year, for the meeting on 4th and 5th October attendance was boosted by the Cork and Youghal Railway running excursions, and by the ‘Fairy’ Blackwater Steamer which operated to Cappoquin, within walking distance of the course. The meeting on Tuesday 22nd October 1867 saw a fall in numbers due to the belief that very few races would fill, as had been the case the previous year. The Selling Race was won by Mr Murphy’s Rosebud, defeating Filigie and Mind of the Mist in 2 heats, while the Lismore Stakes was won by Lady Olivia for Mr Garbett. There were frequent periods when racing was not held, but a new problem arose in October 1886 when the Ballyduff Branch of the National League posted notices urging people to boycott the races because Lord Hartington had, in their view, destroyed Mr Gladstone’s chance of getting Home Rule. A successful meeting was held on Thursday 1st October 1896 when the Duke of Devonshire sponsored the Cup race over 2 ½ miles which was won by Mr P J Mulcahy’s Kirkeen. Although minor meetings took place after 1896 they were not widely reported.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Duke of Devonshire, Lord Hartington
Principal Races Duke of Devonshire Cup, Lismore Stakes, Lismore Steeplechase

Tuesday 22nd October 1867
Lismore Stakes
1. Lady Olivia, aged mare owned by Mr Garbett
2. Maid of Honour, aged mare owned by Mr Lyon
3. Zouave, aged horse owned by Mr Smithwick
4. Ranger, aged horse owned by Mr Smyth

The final meeting took place on Thursday 1st October 1896.
Course today Both on the estate of Lord Stuart De Deceis, 5 miles from town, and on a range of courses in the vicinity of the town.
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

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