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Earliest meeting: Monday 17th September 1781
Final meeting: Tuesday 24th September 1793
Rosses Point is a village in County Sligo often visited by the poet William Butler Yeats and his brother Jack who was an artist. Horse races were first staged at Bowmore, on the edge of Rosses Point, when a four day meeting started on Monday 17th September 1781. The opening race, restricted to 4 and 5 year olds, was won by Mr Fenton’s Intruder, while the Hunters race the next day went to Mr N Ormsby’s Gibazoony. Bowmore was a wide expanse of grass land with natural ridging on the surrounding hills that was the perfect facility from which to view the races. Much later a greyhound track was also opened at Bowmore, which is now the home of a Championship Golf Course. The first period of racing came to an end on Tuesday 25th September 1793, after which results were not included in the Racing Calendar. However, Sligo county races did not move to its new home at Hazelwood until 1873. Jack Butler Yeats loved painting racing scenes, but would have been denied the opportunity of watching races at Bowmore.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Sir B Gore, Mr N Ormsby, Captain Caldwell
Principal Races Sligo Hunters Stakes, Sligo Ladies Plate

Tuesday 24th September 1793
Sligo Ladies Plate over 2 miles
1. Harriet, chestnut filly owned by Mr Ormsby
2. Quickstep, bay mare owned by Mr Ormsby Jones
3. Breslaw, chestnut horse owned by Mr Plunkett

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 24th September 1793.
Course today On Bowmore at Rosses Point.
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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