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: Wednesday 5th May 1864
Final meeting: Thursday 17th April 1958
The Irish County Louth racecourse of Mullacurry was actually situated in the townland of Paughanstown in the present day parish of Dunleer. Racing began in 1859 when known as Ardee Races, and was first referred to as Mullacurry Races for the May 1864 meeting. A prominent meeting certainly took place on 11th May 1872, with a detailed account reported in the Dundalk Herald. An extract from that paper is given below:-
‘The day of the race meeting was a general holiday in the area. Large numbers of people, young and old, attended the races and they arrived in a variety of vehicles as well as, and indeed mostly, on foot. The better off people in the community watched the races from a stand which was situated in an enclosure. The parade ring was situated in the enclosure and the wealthier bookmakers made a book there. The vast majority of the attendance watched the races from a hill outside of the enclosure. There was no admission fee into the latter area. Throughout this outer area there were many stands from which sweets of all descriptions, apples, pears and oranges were sold. Vendors called out to know if you were ‘atin’, which meant ‘Were you proposing to buy something to eat?’ There were also many sideshows. For weeks after the races were over, young people continued to gallop through the fields jumping over furze bushes and calling themselves by the names of the most popular horses’. The early course was laid out in fields owned by Mr Hudson and Mr Richardson and, after racing, a dinner to thank them was held in the Ruxton Arms. Racing was held annually under the names Ardee, Louth Hunt or Mullacurry for almost 100 more years before a final meeting on Thursday 17th April 1958.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Patrons Lord Massereene, 8th Hussars
Principal races St Patrick’s Cup, 8th Hussars Subaltern Cup

Tuesday 22nd May 1866
The Ardee Plate over 2 ¾ miles
1. Fair Play, 5 year old owned by Captain Forrest
2. Wisdom, 5 year old owned by Mr Owen
3. Goldfinder, 6 year old owned by Mr Evans
4. Duchess, aged horse owned by Mr Jackson
5. Hunting Lady, 5 year old owned by Lord Massereene

I am grateful to Michael Rafferty for offering an extract about Mullacurry Racecourse in the excellent article, written by Padraig Faulkner, with the link

The race meeting came to an end after the Second World War, with the final meeting taking place on 17th April 1958, perhaps because of the compulsory tillage orders and also competition with other racing venues.

Course today

In the townland of Paughanstown near Paughanstown Cross.

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