Tramore Racecourse History
NOTE:The badges displayed on this page are not authentic and are for artistic display only.

The earliest record of racing in the County Waterford holiday resort of Tramore, about 8 miles from the city of Waterford, was in 1785. A local resident, Bartholomew Rivers, spotted the potential to hold races on the strand and meetings continued until 1911. Initially only one meeting was held annually, which was sometimes challenging given the shifting sands, but eventually the meeting increased in popularity and extended to a six day Festival by 1807. Meetings ceased in 1812, with no further racing until 1835, after which meetings were sporadic, although the management received a boost with the coming of the railway in 1854. In 1890 the lease of the course was acquired by local businessman Martin J Murphy and he transformed the course, adding a hotel, golf course and electric street lighting. All went well until the sea intervened in April 1911, causing so much damage to the racecourse infrastructure that it was agreed to transfer the racing to another course. By 1912 meetings were being staged on Graun Hill, owned by Martin Murphy by then the local MP. The inaugural three day meeting took place on 13th August 1912 and the course continued to prosper until the death of Martin Murphy in 1920, after which administration passed to Senator J J Parkinson and Thomas Fleming. In 1924 the meetings became known as ‘Waterford and Tramore races’ and today offer a programme of Flat and National Hunt racing.

Currently the course hosts 9 fixtures annually.
Although Tramore remains a thriving racecourse, nearby Kilkenny closed its gates for the final time in 1903.
The Irish racecourse at the town of Kilkenny first held races in July 1731 when organised by the citizens of the town. Racing then lapsed for a while before returning in the middle of the 18th century with a full six day meeting in July 1762. Meetings took place intermittently, but lapsed towards the end of the 18th century. Meetings were rekindled in 1828 with Major Keatinge the driving force behind the revival, and he was rewarded with a crowd in excess of 20000 for the meeting on Saturday 1st November 1828. There were few runners for the 1829 meeting and every race on every day was won by Mr Maher’s Speculation. This was unsatisfactory for the crowd, who also complained that the course lacked basic facilities. The management built a stone grandstand and weigh-house in 1831 and secured wider sponsorship from the Citizens Club. Meetings ceased in the 1850s only to return towards the end of the 19th century. The meeting scheduled for October 1899 was abandoned and races stumbled on for four more years until the final meeting took place on Friday 19th June 1903.
I am grateful to Google Maps (© Googlemap) for permission to use the map shown below.

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

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