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Earliest meeting: Wednesday 28th October 1857
Final meeting: Saturday 20th June 1908
The county Mayo town of Swinford, on a tributary of the River Moy, is best known today for its wonderful fishing waters, especially Callow Lakes, but in the 19th and very early 20th century it held its own race meetings. One of the first two day meetings took place on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th October 1857 on the Brabazon Course owned by Captain H H Brabazon. He generously threw open his house and grounds, provided a splendid luncheon before racing, and was then rewarded with some competitive races. The opening 2 mile steeplechase was won by Mr Davis’s Fox, ridden by Sam Chifney, while the Handicap Stakes saw Mr Naughton’s Blind Hookey defeat Mayboy and Nancy. The next year, entries for the two day meeting on 17th and 18th November 1858 were made at the Chequers Inn, with the card consisting of three steeplechases and two flat races. A year later on Wednesday 9th November 1859 the Swinford Weight for Age Handicap was won by Mr Comee’s The Tailor who beat Polander and Mary. Although racing ceased for a number of years in the latter part of the 19th century, meetings were then re-launched. The final card took place on Saturday 20th June 1908, after which racing was brought to a sudden halt by Mr Arthur Blennerhassett, the first Irish Turf Club Inspector of Courses, who deemed that ‘the course was unsuitable for the required purposes’.

This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Captain H H Brabazon
Principal Races Swinford Handicap Stakes, Swinford Steeplechase

Wednesday 28th October 1857
Swinford Steeplechase over 2 miles
1. Fox, chestnut gelding owned by Mr Davis
2. Waxy Pope, bay horse owned by Mr Murphy
3. Figet, brown mare owned by Mr Davis

The final meeting took place on Saturday 20th June 1908.

Course today On the Brabazon course owned by Captain H H Brabazon.
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.
Download an order form
  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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