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Earliest meeting: Monday 5th May 1851
Final meeting: Wednesday 5th April 1933  
The Meath Hunt Group, based in county Meath, first organised race meetings as an additional pleasure to foxhunting in the middle of the 19th century. One of the earliest widely reported meetings was held on Monday 5th May 1851 when the principal event, the Meath Hunt Cup in which horses had to carry 12 stone, was won by Mr O’Callaghan’s Nabocklish, while the Farmers’ Plate over 2 miles went to Mr Blake’s Wild Girl. A single meeting took place annually for almost a century, mostly on the Boyerstown course located just a mile from Navan. In April 1870 the course underwent significant improvements under the direction of Mr Waters, including an all grass course, a commodious stand and new enclosures. The meeting on Tuesday 30th April 1878 was advertised as an ‘aristocratic meeting’ implying it was reserved for the aristocracy, but the management were delighted that various railway companies provided special excursions to boost the attendance. The meeting on Tuesday 3rd May 1881 had a high-powered group of sponsors and stewards, including the Marquis of Headfort, the Marquis of Drogheda, the Earl of Darnley and the Earl of Howth. The quality of racing would have pleased them, with the Farmers’ Plate won by Mr D McGerr’s Mab; the Meath Hunt Cup by Mr G F Gradwell’s Snuff; the Navan Cup by Mr Murray’s St Lawrence and the Headfort Cup by Mr G F Murphy’s La Soeur. Meetings continued to be well supported into the 20th century until a final card took place on Wednesday 5th April 1933.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Marquis of Headfort, Marquis of Drogheda, Earl of Howth, Earl of Darnley
Principal Races Navan Cup, Headfort Cup, Meath Hunt Cup

Monday 5th May 1851
Meath Hunt Cup over 3 ½ miles
1. Nabocklish, bay gelding owned by Mr O’Callaghan
2. Autumn, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Preston
3. The Dasher, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Roch
4. Reckless, chestnut gelding owned by Mr McEvoy

The final meeting took place on Wednesday 5th April 1933.
Course today On the Boyerstown course a mile from Navan.
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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