Quick Facts About Gowran Park
It is part of what was once the Lord Annaly Estate. The first meeting was held at Gowran Park in 1914. The first televised meeting in Ireland was at Gowran Park in 1969.
The showpiece race of the season at Gowran Park is the Grade A Thyestes Steeplechase run in mid-January. First held in 1954 it commemorates the famous racehorse owned by the McCalmont family who have been closely linked with Gowran Park since its inception. The magnificent trophy for the race was originally won by Thyestes in England and was donated to the racecourse by the McEnery family.
If somebody asked you to put a racecourse anywhere in Ireland the chances are you would set it down in Gowran Park. There is something very homely and localised about the place, it's probably something to do with the wooded parkland, in the centre of which the racecourse is cuddled, giving it a warmth and character that is not to be found on any other course in Ireland. You just can't create places like it any more, it really is the perfect setting for horseracing and furthermore it's augmented by modern facilities and competitive racing.
Real Horse Country
If Kildare is considered to be the home of the horse in Ireland then the Kilkenny/Carlow region around Gowran Park must be the equivalent of the cosy country retreat of the horse in Ireland. The area is awash with famous training establishments and stud farms and has been a hotbed of famous horses and horse people for over a hundred years. Red Rum, the only triple Grand National winner was bred by the McEnery family nearby. Legendary trainer Paddy Mullins and his sons Tom, Willie and Tony train locally. The famous Ballylinch, Ballyhane and Burgage Studs are situated in the area. It's part of the fabric of local society. And it shows in the attendance at Gowran. People in the area really appreciate and know their racing and they have a course that they can be proud of.
The course is a right-handed undulating track of one mile and four furlongs in length that stages flat and National Hunt racing.
How To Get There
Gowran is 13km east of Kilkenny, 120km south of Dublin and 48km north of Waterford.
Regular train service to Kilkenny station from Waterford and Dublin. A short taxi ride to the course.
Bus Eireann provides a regular service from Dublin for most race meetings. Tel: 01 836 6111. There are also regular Rapid Express coaches from Waterford and Dublin.
Tel: 051 872 149. Tom Duffy special race-day coaches from Dublin. Tel: 01 832 8169.
Waterford airport is 54km away with daily flights.
Helicopter landing at the course can be arranged in advance.
General Admission Charges
|OAPs & Students:||€10|
|Corporate Package||€45 - €100|
Group Discounts available on admission for groups over 10 - prepaid only.
There is a silver service restaurant on the top level of the new stand with a balcony overlooking the winning post, self-service restaurants, numerous bars and snack bars.
Bia Blasta are the current franchise holders & have been receiving race reviews from Racegoers & Golfers alike. The Rooftop Hospitality Suite can cater for parties of 50 to 300 with stunning views overlooking the racecourse. Diners can enjoy a range of food from a Light Buffet to a 5 Course Banquet. The Helen Sheane Suite can cater for 30 – 75 people & is ideal for private parties, it is located adjacent to the main grandstand. There is also a Private Members Club Bar.”
There is a designated wheelchair viewing area in the new stand with access via lifts.
Kilkenny city is a medieval city with lots of interesting castles, cathedrals and houses, chief among which is Kilkenny Castle in the city itself. There are also plentiful opportunities for golf, fishing and horse riding.
|Langton House Hotel||www.langtons.ie||056 7765133|
|Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel||www.kilkennyhibernianhotel.com||056 7771888|
|Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel||www.kilkennyordmonde.com||056 7723900|
|Kilkenny Rivercourt Hotel||www.rivercourthotel.com||056 7723388|
|Kilkenny Inn Hotel||www.kilkennyinn.com||056 7772828|
|Days Hotel Kilkenny||www.dayshotelkilkenny.com||056 7783100|
|Kilford Arms Hotel||www.kilfordarms.ie||056 7761018|
|Club House Hotel||www.clubhousehotel.com||056 7721994|
|Springhill Court Hotel||www.springhillhotelkilkenny.com|
|Mount Juliet Conrad Hotel||www.mountjuliet.ie|
|Hotels In Carlow|
|The Lord Bagenal Hotel||www.lordbagenal.com|
|Seven Oaks Hotel||www.sevenoakshotel.com|
|B&B’s In Gowran|
|Kilbawn House B & B, Dungarvan (Liz or Jim)
(only 4 miles from Gowran Park)
|Wind View B & B, Race Road, Gowran (Susan)||056 7726459|
|Orchard Grove, Wells, Bagnealstown, Co. Carlow
4 star self-catering - www.orchardgrovebb.com