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Earliest meeting: Monday 16th September 1751
Final meeting: Monday 11th July 1910
The County Galway town of Ballinasloe lies on the River Suck in the eastern part of the county. Its name actually means ‘ford, mouth of the river’ and today it consists of an urban part and a rural part. However, back in the middle of the 18th century the town was surrounded by rural countryside, tailor-made for hosting race meetings. The ‘Historical List of Horse-Matches’ recorded that the first 3 day meeting was held in September 1751. The Killbegly racecourse, located 2 ½ miles from Ballinalsoe, was formed on grazing land owned by John Byrne and had a steeplechase course with five 4 ½ foot high walls. Racing continued to be held annually and crowds were boosted when the railway station, on the Dublin to Galway line, opened on 1st August 1851. The final meeting took place on Monday 11th July 1910.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Sir Edward O'Brien
Principal Races Ballinasloe Purse

Monday 16th September 1751

Ballinasloe £20 Purse
1. Starling, bay horse owned by Mr Lambert and Mr Dunnelan
2. Merry Andrew, bay horse owned by Walter Taylor
3. Abelard, black gelding owned by Sir Edward O’Brien

Tuesday 17th September 1751

Ballinalsoe £25 Purse
1. Foxhunter, bay gelding owned by Robert Brown
2. Merry Harrier, grey gelding owned by Crosedaile Miller

Wednesday 18th September 1751

Ballinasloe £30 Purse
1. Ranger, bay horse owned by Sir Edward O’Brien
2. Fearnought, black horse owned by Mr Judge
3. Starling, bay horse owned by Mr Lambert and Mr Dunnelan

The final meeting took place on Monday 11th July 1910.
Course today

The Killbegly course some 2 ½ miles from Ballinasloe.

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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