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Earliest meeting: Monday 3rd October 1808
Final meeting: Tuesday 19th March 1918
The county Cork town of Fermoy, on the River Blackwater, boasts a Cistercian abbey founded circa 13th century. It first staged races of note in 1808 when a five day meeting, spread over six days, began on Monday 3rd October 1808. The card opened with a race restricted to three and four year olds which was won by Mr Creed’s Noblessa, while the next day a weight for age handicap over 3 miles saw Mr Edwards’ Miss Bowes defeat Thrasher and Princess Royal. Thursday was reserved for hunting, but Mr Creed won the feature race on each of the final two days, firstly with Noblessa and then with Princess Royal. Meetings continued on a regular basis for almost a century and were noted for the variety they offered. In 1839 the Queen’s Arms Hotel provided an Ordinary each day, supper in the evening and a Ball on the final day. At the three day meeting from Wednesday 23rd to Friday 25th October 1844 the Marquis of Waterford appointed a top class group of stewards to ensure the races were advertised widely and ran smoothly. The next year Lord Listowel provided an excellent band composed of young men from Ballyhooly to entertain the crowd between races, while on Wednesday 21st November 1860 the Great Southern and Western Railway boosted attendance by laying on cheap excursions from a wide range of towns and cities. The steeplechase racecourse was ideally sited immediately adjoining the railway station and the feature race on the card, the Garrison Stakes over a mile and a half was won by Mr Power’s Gentle Judy at the expense of Victory and Blind Hookey. Races continued for over 50 years until the final meeting took place on Tuesday 19th March 1918.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Marquis of Waterford, Viscount Kilworth, Hon. C Moore Smyth, Mr Fitzpatrick, Mr McDonogh
Principal Races Munster Debenture Stakes, Fermoy Stewards Stakes, Hunters Sweepstakes, Fermoy Handicap, Fermoy Plate, Fermoy Garrison Stakes

Wednesday 5th October 1808
Fermoy 4 mile Purse
1. Thrasher, bay horse owned by Mr J D Scully
2. Wicklow, brown colt owned by Mr Edwards
3. Venture, bay gelding owned by Mr Blennerhassett

Wednesday 9th to Friday 11th October 1836

Fermoy Stewards Stakes
1. Waitstill owned by Mr Fitzpatrick
2. Dora owned by Mr Hunter
3. Sir William owned by Mr McDonogh

Fermoy Hunters Sweepstake over a mile and a half
1. Barefoot owned by Mr Knox
2. Napoleon owned by Mr Fitzpatrick
3. Hercules owned by Mr Somers

Munster Debenture Stakes
1. Valentine owned by Mr Barry
2. Alhambra owned by Mr Dennis

Thursday 25th October 1900

Fermoy Club Plate Handicap over 1 ¼ miles
1. Sweet Singer owned by Mr T Desmond
2. Red Hugh owned by Mr J J Quaint
3. Five Scents owned by Mr J Reese

The final meeting took place on Tuesday 19th March 1918.
Course today A steeplechase course immediately adjoining the railway station.
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 johnwslusar@gmail.com

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 johnwslusar@gmail.com 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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