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Kilbeggan News

Kilbeggan Races a truly Irish occasion 
The Kilbeggan Races are a vibrant social occasion, an exciting sporting event and an altogether most enjoyable experience. It mingles the heart stopping spectacle of racing over jumps with the laid back charm of a genuine rural meeting. The Kilbeggan formula is made for fun, friendship and atmosphere for the thousands who return meeting after meeting through Kilbeggan's turnstiles. 

An evening to remember at Kilbeggan Races
The quiet midlands town is transformed on race evenings into a festival of social and sporting pleasure, drawing admirers from every corner of Ireland. You can meet friends, mingle; you can eat, drink and cheer without restriction; you can bring the family or whoever; where for a few euros the odds are much better than a lottery ticket; and where you can boast afterwards that it was sheer skill that made you pick the winner! If you are bright, witty and rich you will enjoy Kilbeggan Races and if not, you will enjoy it just the same.

Catering Facilities
The facilities at Kilbeggan include our panoramic, glass-fronted Balcony Suite - superbly located opposite the winning post, adjacent to the bookmakers’ ring with an expansive view overlooking the entire racetrack and colourful spectator area. Our Self-service restaurant and snack bar provide nourishment for hungry visitors to Kilbeggan. Of course the Tented bar on the hill overlooks the entire racecourse, and is a hub for our live music at Race Meetings. All of our bars are a popular meeting place with visitors and locals alike, and are the ideal place for post-race analysis as well as a nice relaxing pint.

Ireland's all-National Hunt Racecourse
Kilbeggan is one of Ireland's only Racecourses where races over jumps are under National Hunt rules - the type of racing the Irish love best. Racing at Kilbeggan makes for an entertaining, thrilling and heart-stopping spectacle where you are close enough to see the skill, excellence and bravery of man and animal.
Irish Setting
Set in the heart of Ireland , Kilbeggan is a unique and picturesque course with a natural setting for racing - both easy on the eye and perfect for viewing.  Our viewing area on the Hill is adjacent to the first jump - giving racegoers an impressive view over the entire racecourse and its surroundings. Here, groups can relax, but yet remain immersed in the thrilling racing action and close to all the festivities. Kilbeggan is located in the centre of Ireland on the new M6 motoway - we are only one hour from Dublin and from Galway. Kilbeggan is also surrounded by the larger towns of Athlone, Mullingar, Tullamore, Trim, Kilcock, Longford, Portlaoise, Birr, Edenderry and Ballinasloe.
The Midlands National - 21st July 2017
Described in many quarters as the social event of the year in the Midlands, The Midlands National is one of the most exciting chases of the Summer Racing calendar. The race has become the largest Summer Race Meeting outside of the irish Derby and the Galway Plate and consistently provides fun, friendship and an electric atmosphere. A full evening of entertainment for all the family including live music, children’s entertainment as well as the glamour and style of the Best Dressed Lady.
Press Release

Paddy Dunican, Manager of Kilbeggan stated that “We are delighted that we are celebrating a superb year. This year has been an outstanding success for us with a major increase in attendances and, in particular this year, a massive growth in the number of people coming in groups. The quality of horses racing has also improved, which has created more competitive and exciting racing for all of our fans”  

UAE Ambassador Heaps Praise On 'Beautiful' Kilbeggan Races

The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Ireland described Kilbeggan Races as a 'community of happiness' when he was the guest of honour at Saturday's meeting.

Dr Saeed Mohammed Al Shamsi said that Dubai has the most expensive race meeting in the world but Kilbeggan has the 'most beautiful'.

Dr Al Shamsi was making his first visit to Kilbeggan Races and was accompanied by his daughter Fatimah and son Mohamed. Dr Al Shamsi said that while he had attended the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby because it was part of his work, coming to Kilbeggan was his pleasure.

"Because the nature of this town and the people of this town is just marvellous and beautiful to see. All the families with their children, with the community, enjoying a beautiful day like this together," he said.
"I feel like I am amongst my family," Dr Al Shamsi added, emphasising that family ties were very important to the people of the UAE and he was delighted to experience the family atmosphere in Kilbeggan.
"We have a lot of similarities when it comes to the family ties, when it comes to being together.  Sometimes you will find, in our homes, grandparents, parents, grandchildren, living in the same home and if they are not in the same house they will be of the same neighbourhood.  And I notice the people here in Ireland have exactly the same thing when it comes to their family ties."

Looking around the course in Kilbeggan, the Ambassador remarked: "God bless them with this kind of greenery and environment.  It is a community of happiness."
"Today I've seen something I always want to see.  And the pleasure for my daughter and my son being here with me, as a family, and seeing all the families here, added more value to my thinking when it comes to Ireland and the Irish people," he said.

The Ambassador said the UAE, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, had a greater share of Irish people than any other country in the region and he very much valued their presence there. Irish people worked in healthcare, education, airlines and other businesses. "We feel that they are part of us. Their behaviour, their manners [are] very much similar to ours so we don't feel they are strangers," he said.

Dr Al Shamsi officiated at the presentations for race winners on Saturday and his daughter presented the Best Dressed Ladies competition prize to Mullingar woman Emma Gunning.

Jacqueline Quinn, British Airways & Zack Lo Sponsor the Biggest Best Dressed Lady Competition at Kilbeggan Races on Saturday Evening 12th August at 5:30pm.

The winner of our biggest best dressed lady prize will receive a fantastic trip to New York to be personally styled by Irish New York fashion designer Jacqueline Quinn with custom designed clothing to the value of €2,500 along with €500 worth of Zack Lo designer shoes. The winner and their guest will be flown out by British Airways, including return flights with 3 nights’ accommodation for two people in New York.

Jacqueline Quinn is one of Ireland’s most successful Irish designers based in New York. Winner of the of many awards, including “Best Evening Wear Designer” at the Hollywood Fashion Awards and was also nominated by the World Fashion Organisation to represent Irelands Haute Couture in Paris Fashion Week. Jacqueline has been Head Designer for Perry Ellis and Bill Bass in New York, and has worked with New Balance, Guinness and Viviscal. While some of her celebrity clients include singer Estelle, which she designed her Grammy Awards dress, along with other including Sephira and Natasha Beddingfield .Jacqueline will also be opening stores in Ireland and London in 2016 /2017.

Zack Lo is one of America’s famous fashion footwear designers for celebrities and high fashion.

British Airways, is one of the world’s most successful airline companies which prides itself on providing a premium level of air travel service. British Airways' fly directly from Dublin to the centre of London up to  13 times a day offering flights to both London City and London Heathrow. From here you can fly on to more than 179 destinations in 75 countries. British Airways Terminal 5 was this year named by Skytrax as the Best Airport Terminal for the third year running, and for those who want to get a new outfit before their trip there’s plenty of choice, with the terminal also winning the Best Airport Shopping award.

Helena Flynn, Head of PR for Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, who is originally from Kilbeggan will be here on the evening to judge and present the flight tickets to the winner. Helena will be joined by Paris Donnatella Callan, Creative Director for FAST of New York.

Ladies Evening at Kilbeggan Races are an exciting sporting event made up of thrilling horse racing and top-class glamour and style – guaranteeing a most enjoyable experience. Our Best Dresses Ladies have embodied class, style and confidence year after year, and the competition is always a colourful, vibrant and elegant affair

Press Release 
August 29th 2014
It is sometimes said that a satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all and there is no doubt that at Kilbeggan races this year the customers enjoyed themselves, and helped to make it the most successful year in recent times. After seven very successful meetings the grand finale will take place next Friday 5th September starting at 4.25PM. This will be the last big social event of the year in the midlands and the Executive are issuing an invitation to join us to celebrate an outstanding year at Kilbeggan Races.


Paddy Dunican, Manager of the racecourse stated that “We are delighted that we are celebrating another superb year in 2014.For the third year in a row we have experienced a significant growth in attendance and in particular a major increase in the number of people coming in groups. The quality of horses has also improved, which has created more competitive and exciting racing for all our fans. This year many of Ireland’s top trainers won races at Kilbeggan including Aidan O’Brien, Dermot Weld, and Dessie Hughes”.  Indeed it has many years since Aidan O’Brien had a runner in Kilbeggan but in June he won with King of Leon 11/8F and also was placed with Beach of Falesa. Dermot Weld also had a success with punter’s favourite Manhattan Song. The remarkable Dessie Hughes had 7 winners with one at each of the 7 meetings so it will be a unique achievement if he completes the year next Friday with another win. Many useful horses ran in Kilbeggan this year including Galway winners Greatness & Lucky Pat to Pink Hat, Bally Longford, Indevan, Cailin Annamh, Queen Alphabet, Tempest Mill, Seefood etc. Undoubedly, the most remarkable was when Caim Hill won the Midlands National from Rivage D’or and Fever Pitch as he won the same race in 2012 and won his first bumper at Kilbeggan in 2008. All his wins at his favourite track took place in May. His jockey Brian O’Connell had a double celebration as his wife gave birth to a girl the day before the race.

The final race meeting will have 7 races with prize money over €80,000 and with five of the seven races sponsored the racing will be exciting & competitive. The card will consist of four hurdle races, two chases and the bumper and the races are being generously sponsored by J.P.McManus; the Kilbeggan Patron’s Club; the Midland Breeder’s Supporting Kilbeggan; the Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar and Pavxpress. In addition the Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar are sponsoring the Leading Jockey Award and Paddy Dunican, Auctioneer & Valuer the Leading Trainer Award. At the moment Dessie Hughes looks certain to be crowned Leading Trainer with 7 winners and only Gordon Elliott with 4 has any chance of catching him. The Leading Jockey Award is quite the opposite with Barry Geraghty on 4 wins and four jockeys David Casey, M.P.Walsh, Brian Hayes and Davy Russell all on 3 winners. It should be a very close call in this category.

This year’s racing has been about family, friends, Best Dressed Ladies, fine weather, large crowds, lively music, children playing, and punter’s winning. This is your final chance to live the Kilbeggan Races Experience so why not take it and turn up before the starting time of 4.25PM. As they say You’re Worth it.! 

Press Release
July 21st 2014
Lisa McGowan from Tullamore Crowned Kilbeggan Races Midlands National Best Dressed Lady
A top-quality prize worth €2,500 was awarded to Tullamore-native Lisa McGowan at Kilbeggan Races on Friday July 18th, after she was chosen as the winner of the Best Dressed Lady competition at the annual Midlands National meeting.
Sponsored by the Wineport Lodge and Dundrum Town Centre, the prize included a ‘Woman of Style’ weekend package in the luxury hotel on the banks of Lough Ree, in Glasson and a €1000 VIP shopping experience with assistance from a Dundrum Town Centre stylist.
Close to 7,000 racegoers came through the gates at Kilbeggan on Friday, with 150 ladies selected to join judges, Marietta Doran, RTE Racing fashion expert and Fiona Hayes, stylist for Dundrum Town Centre for a glass of sparkling wine in the Judging Marquee. The judges eventually managed to whittle the group down to ten finalists who were taken to the parade ring, where the winner was announced. Wearing a cream dress, accessorised with a red handbag, headpiece and shoes, Lisa McGowan, who works in C.P. McGowan Insurance in Tullamore, was the number one choice of both judges.
After being announced as the winner, Lisa McGowan, said: “I’m just so thrilled to have won. I still can’t believe it. I was invited into the Judging Marquee before but I’ve never been a finalist. It’s such an honour to be chosen as the winner – all of the ladies look fab! I’d like to thank Electric Candy in Tullamore for my dress and Pamela Curtin Millinery for my headpiece. I’m really looking forward to staying in the Wineport Lodge and I can’t wait to go on a shopping spree in Dundrum town centre without having to spend any money.”
Kilbeggan Racecourse Manager Paddy Dunican said: “Despite the negative weather forecast, our flagship Midlands National meeting was a great success with nearly 7,000 people enjoying a sunny evening of racing and top-class fashion. We’re always keen to grow attendances so it’s great to have entertainment and best dressed competitions drawing a crowd. The winner of our Best Dressed Lady was a very popular winner, as she is well-known in the local area and was at the races with a group of friends on a social outing from one of the Tullamore pubs. I’d very much like to thank our sponsors the Wineport Lodge and Dundrum Town Centre, who have been associated with this meeting for three years now.”

The Midland’s National Day at Kilbeggan has been described as “the Midland’s Social Event of the Year” for a very good reason .The race worth €50,000 has become the most prestigious chase of the summer racing season outside the Galway Plate and the Best Dressed Ladies Competition is indeed the style event of the year in midland’s. The combination of combative quality racing and competitive elegant style means that you have to be at Kilbeggan racecourse next Friday evening, 18th July, starting at 5.55pm or you will miss out on a great social evening.

The Midlands National is now established as one of the best summer chases on the racing calendar. Last year it was won by Double Seven, who was a course specialist winning three races between 24th June and 10th August including the Midland’s National. The quality of the race is shown by the fact that Double Seven was 10/1 joint favourite for the Aintree Grand National and ridden by Tony McCoy who was only beaten around 5 lengths by Pineau De Re and Balthazar King. Liberty Counsel (another course specialist) was last year’s Irish Grand winner and also twice ran unsuccessfully in the Midlands National. You could be looking at a future Aintree or Irish Grand National winner next Friday, so make sure to be there for this thrilling spectacle. In addition to the big chase sponsored races include the Michael Moore Car Sales Mercedes-Benz handicap hurdle; the Coola Maiden Hurdle sponsored by Committee member Tom Lynam, who knows every blade of grass on the track.; the novice chase is sponsored by the European Breeder’s Fund; the mares hurdle is in honour of Tom McCormack former Secretary of the Committee and with over €100,000 in prize money the racing will be competitive as regular race goers know.

Celebrated fashion presented for RTE and Channel 4 racings Marietta Doran presented the Best Dressed Ladies Competition last year and it was won by Marie Therese Nally, who proved the point that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it. Marietta will again be presenting it the competition next Friday and the Wineport Lodge and Dundrum Town Centre are sponsoring a prize in excess of €2,000 including a €1,000 shopping spree at Dundrum Town Centre and a Woman of Style Weekend at the Luxurious Wineport Lodge in Glasson. Finalists, for the Best Dressed Lady competition will be selected throughout the evening and will enjoy a champagne reception at the Wineport Lodge marquee before the winner is announced.

In C18 there was a phrase coined that “Good clothes open all doors”, so ladies this is an opportunity for you to win a great prize while having fun in congenial company and perhaps open a few doors into your future? The evening is about drama, glamour, fun, music, etc in the midst of great racing and a perfect time of the year to meet up with family & friends. Admission for adults is €12, Students and OAP’s €10, with a discount for groups & children under 16 are free. The Special Family Discount Package is €20 with 2 adults and children under 16 free with free bouncing castles, obstacle course etc.
Remember that the 7 race card starts at 5.55PM and it is advisable to be early and avoid the traffic. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting
Horse racing is about family fun and people of all ages from eight to eighty enjoying a great day out. The third Kilbeggan race meeting of the year is on next Sunday 1st June commencing at 2.50Pm.  All the ingredients for the social outing of the year are present with a Bank Holiday weekend; the Kilbeggan Knighthood Festival on from Friday 30th May –Sunday 1st June; and a Family Fun Day for all.


The Family Fun Day is now one of the major events on May-June Bank Holiday weekend, with free entertainment for children. There is a special family discount package for €20 covering two adults with children under 16 free. There is an inflatable village and kid’s zone, super slides, obstacle courses, bouncing castles, bungee runs, music, dancing, colouring competition etc plus Mick Mouse. It will be a great opportunity for parents to relax as their kids head off at full throttle to enjoy the free entertainment .In 1914 “one hundred cars were counted on the course, aside from an innumerable collection of motor & push bikes”. Next Sunday a much larger number of vehicles are expected, as all roads lead to Kilbeggan Races.


The third year of the Kilbeggan Knighthood  Festival  from Friday to Sunday will mean that the Lord & Lady for 2014 will be present at the races to add a touch of C18 glamour and fun to proceedings. The 7 race card will have a very interesting mix of a conditional mares hurdle, two very competitive hurdle races at 2 and 3 miles, the Mullingar Beginner’s Chase has produced some useful horses in the past and the Streamstown Chase will be a good trial for the Midland’s National.

At the very successful May meeting Davy Russell had a double with the locally owned and bred Queen Alphabet trained by Peter Fahey. Cathal Ennis bred the horse and Carmel Ennis & Catherine Burke owned him. Russell’s other winner was Jessica Harrington’s Gimli’s Rock in the conditions hurdle. Paul Duggan was a local successful trainer with Long House Hall in the first. The only winning favourite was Gordon Elliot’s Rajih who had some luck when Aces & King’s won the handicap chase.

The scene is set, the cast are ready, and all that is needed is a good attendance and some sunshine, to make this one of the great days at Kilbeggan Races. Make sure you arrive early as the first race is at 2.50 PM
Family Fun Day this June Bank Holiday Weekend 

Kilbeggan Races is on this Bank Holiday Sunday, June 1st with the first race at 2.50pm.

This is the ideal meeting to attend for all comers and all ages with just the right amount of activities taking place. Along with thrilling racing see the return of Family Fun Day with live entertainment, special guest appearances, children’s area including bouncing castle, large super slide, obstacle course, a great two hour magic show, colouring competition, face painting, Mickey Mouse & much more. Come early and enjoy the fun at your ease. 

As it is Family Fun Day you can enjoy a Family Discount Package of €20 for two adults and two children under 18. All the entertainment is then free for children.  

It is that time of the year, as we swing into a season of 8 great racing days at Kilbeggan. With a hint of summer in the air after the Easter Holiday, regulars will be looking forward to the first race meeting next Friday 25th April with the first race commencing at 4.50PM. It may be on between Fairyhouse & Punchestown but racing at Kilbeggan has a life of its own, as shown by a successful 2013 year of racing.

Paddy Dunican, Manager said that “2013 was one of our best years ever at Kilbeggan with a 10% increase in the number of people attending over the year. We are very confident that we can build on last year’s success and we are looking forward to a great new season of racing with 8 race meetings planned from now until September”.  Kilbeggan is pulling out all the stops to ensure that 2014 is jam packed with good racing, lively music and craic.


The quality of racing in Kilbeggan is sometimes questioned but it is interesting to note that the joint favourite for the Aintree Grand National was Double Seven, a horse who was a course specialist at Kilbeggan in 2013 winning 3 races between 24th June and 10th August including the Midland’s National. Starting at 10/1 Joint Favourite and ridden by Tony McCoy he was only beaten just over 5 length’s by Pineau De Re and Balthazar King. At time of writing Gordon Elliot’s Cause of Causes is near favourite for the Irish Grand National and he won his maiden hurdle at Kilbeggan.  With three sponsored races there is a distinct possibility that you could see horses of this quality next Friday.The 3 mile handicap hurdle is generously sponsored by The Greville Arms Hotel; the Mullingar Park Hotel is sponsoring the Sean Hughes Memorial Mullingar Park Hotel Handicap €10,500 of 3miles 1 furlong; and the mares novice chase of €12,000 is being sponsored by the European Breeder’s Fund. 

With good weather & fine racing it should be a great evening and as it’s the first meeting of the year  you can meet up with friends from work, school or even the golf club to have a get together in a relaxed atmosphere. The first race is at 4.50PM so make sure to arrive early.
Admission for adults is €12 , students & OAP’s € 10 with a special family discount for € 20 including 2 adults with children under 16 free.

Attendances Up At Kilbeggan Races As Track Fights Recession

Tullamore Tribune Thursday, 15 August 2013


ATTENDANCES increased this year at Kilbeggan Races as the Westmeath horse racing venue continues to thrive despite the recession. Speaking at the annual sponsors' buffet on Saturday evening, Kilbeggan secretary manager Paddy Dunican said ongoing hard work by the committee ensured another successful season for Kilbeggan Races.  He described 2013 as a 'brilliant' year. 'We've increased our attendances significantly. Even in the current economic recession we're going through we still have staged five very successful race meetings so far, but we've also invested substantially in capital development,' said Mr Dunican. A total of 54 new horseboxes were built at the racecourse before the start of the 2013 season and Mr Dunican thanked Horse Racing Ireland for the grant-aid for that scheme. Mr Dunican said that in the past few years Kilbeggan Races made significant changes in how they ran their business, including the introduction of a vigorous marketing campaign embracing social media. Furthermore, Sunday racing has become part of the Kilbeggan calendar and Mr Dunican said the Sunday meeting this year was an outstanding success. Last month Kilbeggan hosted its biggest race of the year, the Gigginstown House Midlands National, sponsored by Michael O'Leary and the attendance on the day was up 25 per cent on 2012. Last Saturday's feature race was sponsored by Hackett's Bookmakers……. To continue reading click here


Author and TV Personality Amanda Brunker to Judge Kilbeggan Best Dressed Lady

-€1,500 top prize on offer- 

The wonderful hot weather of July may have warmed us all externally but more importantly it gave everyone a warm internal feeling leading to laughter and good humour everywhere we went. This was certainly reflected in the Gigginstown House Midland National meeting on 19th July with a huge attendance enjoying the best ever meeting since the race was first sponsored.  Hopefully, this will be matched next Saturday evening at 5.15 PM when Kilbeggan presents its traditional August holiday meeting.

The Best Dressed Ladies Competition is being sponsored by Littlewoods Ireland with a top prize of € 1,500 shopping spree on offer and best selling author and TV personality Amanda Brunker will be the style judge. It’s always a great evening and another opportunity for ladies to dress up to win a great prize and remember ladies that the 9 remaining finalists will receive a € 100 shopping spree each. Racing fans will have plenty to look forward to with a 7 race card including the featured Hackett Bookmakers Handicap Race of € 16,000 generously sponsored by the Hackett family; Tom Birmingham Menswear, Mullingar are sponsoring the bumper race; Michael Moore Car Sales of Athlone & Portarlington are sponsoring a hurdle race; and also there is the Betpac maiden hurdle and the Bank House Family are sponsoring the Joe Cooney Cup which goes back to the 1950’s.
August is about school holidays and family outings therefore there is a great opportunity for you to have a fun outing at Kilbeggan. All entertainment is free inside the course with super slide, bungee run, small castle, obstacle course, face painting, various games etc and not forgetting  Micky Mouse. Admission for adults is €12 , students & OAP’s € 10 with a special family discount for € 20 including 2 adults with children under 16 free.
This is the big holiday meeting of the year full of buzz & excitement  which can only be experienced if you are there so arrive early and take in the atmosphere and hopefully sunshine.

For Further information please contact:
Paddy Dunican, Secretary Manager.
Tel: 057 933 2176, M: 087 2485548

Twitter: @KilbegganRaces



For further information contact Paddy Dunican, Manager, The Racecourse, Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath. Phone (057) 9332176 or Fax (057) 9332125.

E-mail:Kilbeggan Racecourse