Horse racing in Ireland is huge and in many ways, people see it as one of the main countries for horse racing around the world. Not only do we have some of the finest horses of all time come from Ireland, but an unbelievable number of great jockeys and trainers have too. It comes as no surprise that there are some superb horse racing events that regularly take place in Ireland, with fans coming from all over the globe to get involved.
1. Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival
In England you have Cheltenham and in Ireland, you have the Punchestown Festival. The festival takes place every year following the Cheltenham Festival and has races of similar quality while also following a similar structure. The action starts on a Tuesday and runs until the following Saturday and the races that take place include the likes of the Champion Chase, Champion Hurdle, Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle and the Punchestown Gold Cup.
2. The Curragh Irish Derby Festival
The Curragh Irish Derby Festival is comfortably the most prestigious and glamorous event to take place on the horse racing calendar in Ireland. Not only does the three-day festival see the Irish Derby take place, which offers the biggest prize in Irish horse racing, the event also sees the rich and famous come from all over the world to enjoy the summer occasion. As well as great racing action on offer, there’s also music, entertainment and fashion on show.
3. Galway Summer Festival
The Galway Summer Festival is another even which takes place during the warmer months and it’s the pick of the bunch for many. Beginning on the final Monday of July, the event runs for a full 7 days and combines some great racing action, which includes races such as the Galway Plate Chase Handicap and the Galway Hurdle Handicap, with a totally unique atmosphere. There’s hospitality, entertainment and fashion aplenty at The Galway Races, with well over 100,000 people attending every year.
4. The Listowel Harvest Festival
The Harvest Festival which takes place annually at Listowel is a 7-day horse racing spectacular that sees both flat and National Hunt action take place. Out of all the races that take place over the 7 days, Wednesday features what is to many the highlight of the whole festival. The Kerry National Chase handicap is the showpiece and it draws a huge amount of interest from all over the world. There’s plenty of entertainment taking place during the festival in what is also a great family occasion too.
5. Fairyhouse Easter Festival
The festival at Fairyhouse is one that most people have their eyes on in anticipation, especially as on the second day of the 3-day event the Irish Grand National takes place. It is one of the most important dates in the racing calendar for devout racing fans, the media and bookmakers. Unibet, a renowned horse racing betting operator, confirmed that the meeting is actually one of the most popular every year. The Irish Grand National has produced some of the most memorable occasions in horse racing history over the years and this is one of the reasons that the festival itself is so popular. The atmosphere is one of the best you’ll experience when at the races and it’s nonstop for the full 3 days of action.