POWERSTOWN PARK RACECOURSE

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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 2nd April 1913
Final meeting: September 1969
The Powerstown area of Clonmel is located just over a mile from the town centre and first held races in the early part of the 19th century on an unenclosed course on Powerstown Park. As well as making use of the Park for Clonmel races, steeplechase meetings were staged on the Kilsheelan course in the middle of the 19th century. It was clear that an unenclosed course had a number of difficulties to overcome, not least the problems of safety and collection of entrance money to make the meetings viable. In 1912 Villiers Morton Jackson formed a Committee to discuss the possibility of enclosing the Park and developing one of the most up to date courses in the country. He was innovative and forward thinking, roping off enclosures for bookmakers to operate, eradicating the problem of other gambling games taking place which often led to fighting, and introducing an entry fee, as well as an additional 2 shilling fee to access the stand. The inaugural meeting took place on Wednesday 2nd April 1913, with further meetings that year in May, August and September. The next year meetings were held on Thursday 30th April and Thursday 28th May before War intervened and some meetings had to be cancelled because trains normally used to transport racegoers were needed for military purposes. Morton Jackson was also philanthropic, organising a Prisoners of War meeting on Thursday 28th October 1915 when proceeds were donated to POWs from the 15th Royal Irish Regiment. That meeting was marked by a treble for the Rathbride Manor training stable of Michael Dawson who scored with Rickety Kate in the Town Plate, Nohan in the Trainers Plate and Irish Cheer in the Irish Ring Plate. After the War had ended meetings continued to be run successfully for the next half a century, including during the Second World War, and it was not until 1970 that the meetings became billed as ‘Clonmel Races’ rather than Powerstown Park.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Villiers Morton Jackson
Principal Races Clonmel Town Plate, Fethard Plate, Cahir Plate, Powerstown Park Handicap

Thursday 28th October 1915
Clonmel Town Plate over a mile
1. Rickety Kate, 3 year old owned by Mr G H Denneby
2. Percival Keene, 5 year old owned by Sir T Dixon
3. Craganock, 3 year old owned by Mr J J Manning

The final meeting took place in September 1969.
Course today On Powerstown Park, about a mile from the town centre.
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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

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 johnwslusar@gmail.com stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
ORDER FORM
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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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Email order form to johnwslusar@gmail.com