OLD CARROWMORE RACE COURSE
The Carrowmore Racecourse was established in 1764 and hosted many prestigious races until it closed in 1869. It was located in the townland of Carrowmore. The exact location of the racecourse is not easy to find today, as most of the traces of it have disappeared over time.
The racecourse had a circular shape and was about 1.5 miles long. It had a grandstand that could accommodate up to 2,000 spectators, as well as stables, weighing rooms, and other facilities. The grandstand was a two-storey building with a curved front and segmental-headed openings. It was roofed with slate and had a stone staircase leading to the upper floor. The grandstand was considered one of the finest examples of its kind in Ireland at the time.
The Carrowmore Racecourse hosted many important races during its existence, such as the Galway Plate, the Galway Hurdle, and the Galway Derby. It’s believed the racecourse also attracted many prominent visitors, such as King George IV, who attended the races in 1821.
The Carrowmore Racecourse closed in 1869 due to financial difficulties and competition from other racecourses. The last race held at Carrowmore was the Galway Plate, which was won by a horse named The Doctor. After the closure, the racecourse was sold to a local farmer, who converted the grandstand into an outbuilding and used the land for agriculture. The grandstand is still standing today, although it is in a dilapidated condition and has been partially covered by vegetation.
The legacy of the Carrowmore Racecourse lives on in the Galway Races, which are held annually at the Ballybrit Racecourse. The Galway Races are one of the most popular events in Ireland’s racing calendar and attract thousands of visitors every year, and some would argue that its popularity all started way back at Carrowmore.
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