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Earliest meeting: Monday 1st October 1753
Final meeting: Monday 1st April 1872
The County Armagh town of Lurgan lies close to the southern shore of Lough Neagh, some 18 miles south west of Belfast. It has a rich history and boasts many historical buildings, including Brownlow House. In the mid-1700s it held its own race meetings, the first of which was reported in the Historical List of Horse Races and Matches of 1753. The opening day was Monday 1st October when the Prize for 5 and 6 year olds went to Mr O’Neil’s Viper. The following day the £40 race was confined to Irish Bred horses and fell to Mr Brownlow’s Black Shuttle in front of Fearnought and Robin Rusty, while on the concluding day there was a Purse of Gold restricted to 4 year olds which was secured by Lord Mazareen’s Jack Daw at the expense of Bleache and Duchess. Jumping forward over a century, during which time races were held intermittently, on Easter Monday 10th April 1871 a crowd in excess of 10,000 witnessed the Hunt Cup over 1 ½ miles which was won by Mr Malcolm’s Whitehead, beating Morning Star and Detective. The final recognised meeting was staged on Monday 1st April 1872 when tragedy struck. A crowded grandstand collapsed and a large number of punters were injured, including Mr McCornell who suffered fatal injuries two days later. Although meetings did continue after this date, the card often contained more pony races than those involving thoroughbreds.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Mazareen
Principal Races Lurgan 4 year old Purse of Gold, Lurgan £40 Irish Bred Race

1st October 1753

Lurgan £30 Prize for 5 & 6 year olds
1. Viper, chestnut horse owned by Mr O’Neil
2. Harlequin, grey horse owned by Mr Dunnallens
3. Miss Wagtail, grey mare owned by Mr Smyth

2nd October 1753

Lurgan £40 Irish Bred Race
1. Black Shuttle, black mare owned by Mr Brownlow
2. Fearnought, bay horse owned by Mr O’Neil
3. Robin Rusty, bay horse owned by Mr French

3rd October 1753

Lurgan 4 year old Purse of Gold
1. Jack Daw, black horse owned by Lord Mazareen
2. Bleache, bay gelding owned by Mr Dixon
3. Duchess, grey mare owned by Mr O’Neil

The final meeting took place on Monday 1st April 1872.
Course today Across farmland on the outskirts of the town.
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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