kilbeganAugust is technically the start of autumn, and sometimes considered “the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. However, to sporting people in the midlands August means only one thing –the Summer Holiday Festival of family fun and great racing in Kilbeggan. The traditional holiday fixture on Saturday, 9th August commencing at 5.25PM, provides the ideal opportunity for a get together amongst families, young & old friends, and racing acquaintances. The Midlands National was an outstanding success with a big increase in attendance and it is anticipated that this August meeting can be just as good.


This meeting provides the first ever sponsor from New York, when John Mahon originally from Longford is sponsoring the Pig ‘N’ Whistle Pubs and Restaurants maiden hurdle. Kilbeggan is known internationally for the races and also having the oldest Pot Still Distillery in the world dating from 1757. The mares novice hurdle is generously sponsored by Kilbeggan® Irish Whiskey .The Locke family were long associated with the Kilbeggan Races since the 1840’s and they provided the race track at Ballard from 1879-85. Interestingly, the Joe Cooney Handicap Hurdle is in honour of a man who was Chairman of the Race Committee and Manager of Kilbeggan Distillery over 60 years ago. Tom Bermingham Menswear, Mullingar are again generously sponsoring the bumper. The racing in August is always very competitive with some very useful horses.

To add a touch of glamour Littlewoods Ireland are sponsoring the Best Dressed Lady with a prize of a €1,500 spending spree. The presence of the incomparable Sile Seoige as judge will certainly add to the attraction of the competition.


The big family day in August will mean free entertainment for the younger ones a bungee run, super slide, castle, obstacle course, gladiator area, face painting, Micky Mouse, music, karaoke, and much more. Admission for adults is €12, students & OAP’s €10, with discounts for groups including a Special Family Package of €20 including 2 adults with children under 16 free. One of the most impressive Willie Mullins trained chase winners at Galway was Alechi Inois, who won her maiden hurdle at Kilbeggan and Tony Martin’s Kilbeggan winner Greatness also won at Galway when 4/1 favourite. Kilbeggan winners like Queen Alphabet, Cailin Annamh, Pink Hat etc were also placed in Galway. The wonderful Caim Hill repeated her 2012 success in the Midland’s National beating Rivage D’Or and Fever Pitch who also have won at the track in 2014. Plans are to aim him for the Kerry National.

It’s said that entertainment can be the dessert of our lives but not the main course. The objective at Kilbeggan is to disprove that theory by providing a good starter at 5.25PM next Saturday and then you will enjoy the sweetest main course for the rest of the evening with thrills, spills, joy, laughter, excitement, families, friends, children, music, beautiful clothes, sunshine and the sheer pleasure of happy people enjoying the main course of life (even food!). Please arrive early to avoid  the traffic and miss nothing.