Founded in 1900 by Colonel Hall Walker who believed a horse’s birth date could determine its ability on the racetrack, the Stud quickly gained a prominence and prestige it maintains to this day. Horses born and bred here have won some of the world’s greatest races and thanks to the stud’s magnificent resident stallions not to mention support from the Government and the Irish people, its influence remains as great as ever.
The name “Curragh” comes from the Gaelic word Cuirreach, meaning “place of the running horse”. The first recorded race on the plain took place in 1727, but it was used for races before then. The first Irish Derby was held in 1866, and in 1868 the Curragh was officially declared a horse racing and training facility by act of parliament. It is still the premier racecourse of the Country and in 2015 it celebrated 150 years of the Derby. A new development will commence in 2017 which will transform the racecourse into a world class state of the art venue. Racing will continue at the Curragh during the development project.
Punchestown racecourse is one of three located in Co. Kildare. Punchestown in the small parish of Eadestown is the home of Irish jump racing. The first meeting in 1868 was attended by one spectator while today, the annual Hunt Festival attracts thousands of racing enthusiasts from all over the world. The racecourse is a popular venue for many types of events along with horseracing such as music and exhibitions.
Naas Racecourse has long been associated with Irish Race hosting both flat and hunt. It is unusual as it has a left handed run-up and up hill finish. Naas Racecourse is within easy reach of Dublin and is a popular venue with race-goers from Kildare and elsewhere. The racecourse hold many different events including family event days, music gigs and of course, racing throughout the year.
Race Academy evolved over 40 years to a broad-based national academy for the horse racing industry. It has become an invaluable academy for training jockeys and now includes the Irish School of Farriery. RACE has had students from more than 25 countries who come to Ireland to learn horsemanship skills.