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Earliest meeting: Monday 19th April 1824
Final meeting: Thursday 17th April 1958
The Irish racecourse at the town of Ardee, which stands on the River Dee in County Louth, entertained a town with a population of 5000. It was also called Louth Racecourse and Mullacurry at various times in its history. There is evidence of a Match taking place on Monday 19th April 1824 on a course in fields owned by Mr John Norris. However, the inaugural 2 day meeting was held in October 1859 and racing continued to prosper for the next 13 years. The course was described as being’ within 40 minutes walking distance of Dunleer’ and started at Mullacurry Big Tree, finishing at Paughinstown Cross. Ordinaries were served at the Ruxton Arms Hotel prior to racing, with dinner at the same venue in the evening. However, it was noticeable that the crowd size was down in 1872 and caused the meetings to cease for a while. The Louth Hunt decided to revive the meeting in 1881, and by 1886 attendance at the track was boosted when punters were able to arrive by trains from Dunleer Station. The race meeting came to an end after the Second World War, with the final card taking place on Thursday 17th April 1958, as competition from other racing venues became too strong.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.

Patrons Marquis of Conyngham, Viscount Massarene
Principal races Ardee Chase Stakes, Hunt Stakes, Free Handicap

Wednesday 26th October 1859
The Ardee Chase Stakes over 3 miles
1. Wee Nell, 4 year old bay mare owned by Mr Markey
2. Arab Maid, aged grey mare owned by Mr Aylmer
3. Joe Maley, bay horse owned by Mr McAdam

Course today

Between Mullacurry Big Tree and Paughinstown Cross.

If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email

Much of the information about this course has been found using internet research and is in the public domain. However, useful research sources have been:-

London Illustrated News

Racing Illustrated 1895-1899

The Sporting & Dramatic Illustrated

Northern Turf History Volumes 1-4 by J.Fairfax-Blakeborough

The Sporting Magazine

A Long Time Gone by Chris Pitt first published in 1996 ISBN 0 900599 89 8

Racing Calendars which were first published in 1727

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
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  Quantity Cost
Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
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