Mayo: see the sport of kings on turf or sand

Ballinrobe Racing

Ballinrobe Racecourse is located 2km from the town on the main Castlebar road (N84). It is the only racecourse in Mayo and is one of only four in Connacht. It hosts nine race meetings annually.

Ballinrobe Racecourse, ideally situated in a natural amphitheatre, has all you could ask for in a country racecourse – beautiful setting, lively atmosphere and the laid back, relaxed attitude for which Ireland is famous. Add to the mix some wonderful horses and a visit to Ballinrobe will never be forgotten.

Horse racing has been taking place at the present venue since 1921 and prior to that at other locations around the town, with Race meetings recorded as far back as 1774. The Irish Racegoers Consultative forum named Ballinrobe as Racecourse of the Year in 2012, which highlights the strides being made in developing the course to provide racegoers with a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Ballinrobe possesses a slightly elevated right-handed track and boasts an exceptional view of every stride. The course has a rare rustic feel to it – Loughs Corrib, Carra and Mask are all located within a few miles. Horses race close by a Ring Fort as old as time while in the mid-distance, the picturesque Partry Mountains look on approvingly.  

Some of horse racing’s top names made their debut in Ballinrobe, such as Doran’s Pride, a former Cheltenham winner, who won his first race here in 1993 or Traverse, the unwitting star of the TV series Only Fools Buy Horses who won his first Irish race at Ballinrobe in 2003.

Racing on the beach

  • Beach racing with horses first became a popular form of entertainment in the last century with the early races in this area taking place on Carrowmore Beach, just outside the village of Louisburgh. These races then moved further along the coast to the beach at Cross near Killeen and then to the beach at Carrowniskey where they take place each summer. 
  • Another annual festival takes place on the beach at Geesala in north Mayo every August

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