Biggest Irish hose racing events not to be missed

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.

Ireland Before You Die’s top facts about horse racing events in Ireland

  • Horse racing in Ireland goes as far back as the 18th century, leaving a long legacy within the Emerald Isle that persists to this day. Indeed, Curragh is one of the oldest venues in the world.
  • Aside from Curragh, Ireland is also home to a series of the most famous worldwide racecourses, such as Leopardstown, Punchestown and Fairyhouse.
  • Taking place every year on Easter Monday is the Irish Grand National, which is held at the Fairyhouse venue. It is one of Ireland’s top steeplechase events.
  • Unsurprisingly, Ireland has also produced some of the world’s best and most legendary jockeys. These include Ruby Walsh, Tony McCoy and Pat Taaffe.
  • Ireland also plays host to National Hunt (jump racing) and Flat racing throughout the year. They are both widely attended.

1. Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival

Punchestown is one of the biggest Irish horse racing events not to be missed.

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.

READ: Let’s answer the question definitively – what are the biggest horse races in Ireland?

2. The Curragh Irish Derby Festival

Curragh is one of the biggest Irish horse racing events not to be missed.

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.

RELATED: See where Curragh ranks on Ireland Before You Die’s list of the top 5 greatest horse tracks in Ireland you can experience

3. Galway Summer Festival

Galway is one of the biggest Irish horse racing events not to be missed.

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

Listowel is one of the biggest Irish horse racing events not to be missed.

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

Fairyhouse is one of the biggest Irish horse racing events not to be missed.

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.

READ: Think you know your stuff? Who would you pick from our list of the five best Irish jockeys in horse racing history?

Your questions answered about the biggest Irish horse racing events not to be missed

Read our article and still have some questions? Not to worry, for we have you covered! Here, we have compiled the most commonly asked questions about the biggest horse racing events not to be missed.

What is the biggest horse racing festival in Ireland?

The biggest horse racing festival in Ireland is probably between the Galway Races, Punchestown and Curragh.

What are the biggest horse racing meetings in Ireland?

The main races in Ireland include the Irish derby, the Irish Champion stakes, the Irish Oaks, the Irish 1,000 Guineas, and the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

What is the biggest horse racing events?

The biggest horse racing events include the Epsom Derby, Melbourne Cup, Aintree Grand National, and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Who is the best horse race in Ireland?

Sea the Star is widely regarded as the most successful Irish race horse ever.


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