Horse racing is extremely popular in Ireland, with some manuscripts even tracing the sport back as early as the 3rd century.
The sport is engrained in Irish culture. Horse racing events attract over 1.3 million attendees annually in Ireland. This article will consider the rich culture of horse racing by analysing some of the largest horse racing events.
The Irish Derby
When talking about the most important horse racing events in Ireland, it’s impossible not to mention the Irish Derby. The Irish Derby, is one of the popular horse racing events in Ireland. attracting horse-racing enthusiasts from across the globe annually.
While there were some failed attempts to create the race in the early 19th century. The modern Irish Derby was established in 1866 and cut to the modern length of the race in 1872. The event’s popularity grew substantially in 1962. The event received significantly more funding and began to regularly attract popular racers from the Epson Derby in Britain.
The race, hosted annually on the second day of the three-day Irish Derby Festival around June/ July at the Curragh. The event also offers live music, entertainment, and fashion on show throughout the fantastic festival. Will be open to thoroughbred colts and fillies aged 3 years and over.
The event offers the biggest prize pool in Irish horse racing of €1 million. Nearly €600,000 is being given to the winning rider. This is the biggest event in Irish horse racing every year and is a must-visit for horse racing enthusiasts.
Irish Horse Racing and Betting
Inevitably, the largest horse racing events in the Irish calendar are inherently linked with betting on all types of races! Irish government throughout history have realised that betting is a huge part of not only horse racing, but the wider Irish economy throughout the festival season.
In 1926, the Irish Free State government introduced a bill that legalised the establishment of off-site betting shops. Further to this, in 1945 the Irish Racing Board was set up to regulate and control the financing of Irish horse racing and betting.
Money raised from betting on the biggest racing stage helps grow Irish horse racing. It is critical with the huge investment needed for the infrastructure and prize money.
If you would like to learn more about online betting in horse racing. Make sure to check out Topbettingsites betting, which gives unbiased reviews of the best value betting opportunities for Irish customers.
Galway Summer Festival
Taking place in the West of Ireland. The Galway Summer Festival is another one of the biggest events on the Irish horse-racing calendar. Held in Ballybrit. The first Galway Summer Festival races occurred on the 17th of August in 1869 as part of a two-day event.
Over the subsequent decades, the festival has been slowly expanding. Reaching seven days of fantastic racing action starting on the last Monday of July annually!
The event attracts over 100,000 attendees throughout the seven-day event. Completely takes over the city of Galway for the week! The event is fantastic for local businesses within Galway. A huge number of visitors adds to the tourism revenue of the city.
The races are also broadcast across live national TV as well as through betting channel up-to-date live streams. Some of the unique races at the Galway Summer Festival include the Galway Hurdle Handicap and the Galway Chase Handicap.
The largest prize at the Galway Summer Festival is over €200,000. If you’re looking to explore both Galway and Irish racing, the Galway Summer Festival is 100% a must-visit.
Punchestown Festival is located in County Kildare and is one of the biggest racing events on the Irish calendar. The first recorded meeting took place at Punchestown with the Kildare Hunting Club on the 1st of April 1850.
The festival has since become extremely important to the identity of Kildare. Schools and banks even closed down in the days leading up to the races! The race was initially in conjunction with the national hunt season. Though has since gone on to become on its own the most popular annual event in Kildare.
The festival features the top horse racers from across Britain and Ireland. The prize pools for the biggest races at the event were massive. Notable races at the Punchestown Festival include the Champion Chase, the Punchestown Gold Cup, and the Ryanair Novice Chase. The festival includes far more than just racing, providing weeklong live music and entertainment to those attending.