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Earliest meeting: Saturday 13th April 1861
Final meeting: Thursday 22nd April 1880
The Queen’s County Hunt were based in County Laois and deviated from their hunting exploits by offering a series of race meetings in the latter part of the 19th century. The meetings took place in site of Cool Hill on The Orchards between the villages of Stradbally and Timahoe. The inaugural meeting was held on Saturday 13th April 1861 and was graced by Earls, Lords and a Marquis. The principal race was the Hunt Cup over 3 miles which was an extremely competitive event at the meeting on Tuesday 7th April 1870. The betting closely matched 5/4 favourite Corsair with main rival Highlander on offer at 6/4. In the event Black Peter made the early running until Corsair took over and looked the likely victor until Highlander came with a well timed run to snatch victory on the line. Meetings continued annually for a further 10 years but came to an end when one of the chief organisers, Mr Redman, died. The final meeting was staged on Thursday 22nd April 1880.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Earl of Wicklow, Marquis of Drogheda, Lord Clonmel, Lord Strathnairn
Principal Races Queen’s County Hunt Cup, Stradbally Stakes, Orchard Plate

Tuesday 7th April 1870
The Queen’s County Hunt Cup over 3 miles
1. Highlander, aged brown gelding owned by Captain Paget-Butler
2. Corsair, grey gelding owned by Mr R H Stubber
3. Black Peter, 5 year old owned by Mr R E Reeves
4. The Colonel, aged brown gelding owned by Captain Morgan
Betting: 5/4 Corsair, 6/4 Highlander, 4/1 Bar

The final meeting took place on Thursday 22nd April 1880.
Course today At the Orchards between Stradbally and Timahoe.
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.
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