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Kilbeggan Racecourse

Published on: 20/11/2016

Kilbeggan Racecourse is one of Ireland’s only National Hunt racing venues. It is situated in the south of County Westmeath, a few miles north of Kilbeggan. The right-handed race track is approximately one mile and one furlong in length with an uphill run to the finishing post. Between May and September, Kilbeggan Racecourse hosts eight events. The Midlands National Chase being the most signifcant.

It all began in 1840, when a group of gentlemen arranged a Challenge Cup race meeting in Kilbeggan. Race meetings continued to be held in the area until 1855, at which point racing activity ceased for some 20 years but eventually returned in 1879. A local family known as the Lockes, who ran a distillery in Kilbeggan, sponsored official race meetings in nearby Ballard until 1885. Once again, racing in the location stopped then resumed again in 1901, at the current Loughnagore site.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Kilbeggan Racecourse endured major funding issues as the Racing Board stopped financing the venue. In the 1970s, the racecourse became an all National Hunt venue and secured its maiden sponsored events. Following the opening of the New Complex and the acquisition of the racecourse site, Kilbeggan was handed the 1990 Racecourse of the Year Award.

Over the last 20 years the venue has undergone extensive renovation works including a resurfaced concourse area, wider race track, bigger enclosure and the creation of the tented village. Initially, there were three race meetings per annum but gradually extra race meetings were scheduled and today the venue offers eight race meetings each year. Visitor numbers have increased too; these days Kilbeggan Racecourse welcomes some 50,000 race goers.

The Midlands National has been held at Kilbeggan Racecourse since 1997. Today, the fixture is Ireland’s most important one-day meeting aside from the festival races. The venue’s new Pavilion was inaugurated in 1999 and hosts many events, live music and leisure activities. Kilbeggan Racecourse’s summer events are favoured by the local patrons. Highlights include June’s Family Fun Day with its best-dressed ladies competitions. Children up to the age of 16 can benefit from free entry and adult tickets are very reasonable priced.

The venue provides state-of-the-art hospitality facilities such as the Pavilion Bar along with its first floor glass-fronted Balcony Suite which is adjacent to the bookmakers ring, and opposite the winning post. Tailor-made packages are available and are ideal for small or large groups of people. There is a self-service restaurant with snack bar, televisions and Tote betting services.

The highly acclaimed Tented Village offers spectacular views of the whole facility and is suitable for accommodating huge crowds of people. It is situated upon a hill and is near to the Parade Ring as well as the main bookmakers and Tote.

Published on: 20/11/2016 © Bet Bind
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