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Earliest meeting: Monday 21st October 1754
Final meeting: Friday 3rd August 1973

The Irish racecourse at the town of Tuam, County Galway, was well-supported by a town with a population of just 4,000. The ‘Historical List of Horse Races and Matches of 1754’ showed that racing took place in Tuam as early as 1754. The four day meeting began on Monday 21st October 1754 with the Freeholders and Inhabitants Purse which saw Mr Thomas’s Prim defeat the more fancied Jenny Jessamy owned by Sir Edward O’Brien. The next day the race was confined to Irish Bred horses and fell to Sir Edward O’Brien’s Fribble. By 1775 the meeting had extended to a full week from Monday 21st to Saturday 26th October, with the best race taking place on Wednesday 23rd. Before the first heat Lord Clanwilliams’s Irish Hero was made 1/5 favourite, and this extended to 1/6 after victory in the heat. However, he was beaten into second in the next heat by Mr Josh Shadwell’s Schoolboy, who was then made 10/1 On in the final and duly obliged. In 1812 the Irish fixture list was so congested that significant organisation was needed to ensure it did not reach saturation point. The Irish Turf Club took up the challenge and assigned specific weeks to each venue. Tuam was allocated the first week in August, which was a good draw because they were able to attract holiday crowds. By the August 1815 meeting the races at the course were predominantly sweepstakes valued at between 25 and 50 guineas, stakes that were sufficient to encourage entries and provide entertainment for the local community. In 1905 the meetings were moved to Parkmore racecourse, about half a mile from Tuam on the Dublin road, and this proved to be a successful venue with racing continuing until the final card took place on Friday 3rd August 1973. When attendances started to decline the land was worth more as development land than could be earned as a racecourse. In 1978 the site was sold to Galway County Council, and over the years a housing estate was built.
This racecourse is covered in Volume 4 of Racecourses Here Today and Gone Tomorrow. Ordering details shown below.
Local Patrons Lord Clanwilliams, Lord Altamont, Lord Donegall, Lord Belmore, Colonel Day, Colonel A Daly, Sir Edward O'Brien
Principal Races Tuam Handicap, Tuam Freeholders and Inhabitants Plate, Tuam Ladies Handicap Plate, 4,5 & 6 year old Purses

21st October 1754

Tuam £20 Purse for Freeholders and Inhabitants
1. Prim, grey horse owned by Mr Thomas
2. Jenny Jessamy, grey mare owned by Sir Edward O’Brien

22nd October 1754

Tuam £30 Irish Bred Race
1. Fribble, bay horse owned by Sir Edward O’Brien
2. Bolton, chestnut horse owned by Mr John Brown
3. Valiant, bay gelding owned by Mr O’Connor

23rd October 1754

Tuam 30 Guineas 4 year old Stakes
1. True Blue, grey gelding owned by Mr Mahon
2. Ferret, colt owned by Mr Cattle
3. Smoaker (sic), bay gelding owned by Mr John Brown
4. Hippolita, bay filly owned by Sir Edward O’Brien

25th October 1754

Tuam 40 Guineas Handicap
1. Prim, grey horse owned by Mr Thomas
2. Frisking Nan, bay mare owned by Mr Daley
3. Dutchess, bay mare owned by Sir Edward O’Brien

Monday 21st August 1775

Tuam 4 year old Purse over 2 miles
1. Patagonian, chestnut gelding owned by Mr P Blake
2. Taddy, bay gelding owned by Mr Burke
3. Slovern, bay colt owned by Lord Altamont

Tuesday 22nd August 1775

Tuam 5 year old Purse over 3 miles
1. Trinket, brown mare owned by Mr J Kirwan
2. Orson, brown horse owned by Mr W Lambert
3. Grammar, bay gelding owned by Mr Burke

Wednesday 23rd August 1775

Tuam 6 year old Purse over 4 miles
1. Schoolboy, bay gelding owned by Mr Jos. Shadwell 2 1 1
2. Irish Hero, bay horse owned by Lord Clanwilliams 1 2 2
Before the first Heat Irish Hero was 1/5, and having won the first Heat Irish Hero was 1/6 before the second Heat. However, once it was one all, before the final Heat Schoolboy was the 10 to 1 On Favourite.

Friday 25th August 1775

Tuam Hunters Stakes over 2 miles
1. Hautboy, bay gelding owned by Mr J Brown
2. Unnamed aged bay gelding owned by Mr J Kirwan
3. Tyger, bay gelding owned by Lord Clanwilliams

Saturday 26th August 1775

Tuam Weight for Age 4 mile Race
1. Schoolboy, bay gelding owned by Mr Jos. Shadwell
2. Trojan, bay gelding owned by Mr J Brown
3. Fryar, grey horse owned by Mr J Kirwan
At the start Fryar was as short as 1/15, but in running betting made Schoolboy the 4 to 1 On Favourite.

Monday 26th to Friday 30th August 1805

Tuam £50 Maiden Plate over 2 miles
1. Chanter owned by Colonel Day
2. Curbs owned by Lord Donegall
3. Merryman owned by Mr Kirwan
4. Patty owned by Mr Battersby

Town of Tuam Plate over 3 miles
1. Traveller owned by Lord Belmore
2. Captain owned by Mr Hawkes
3. Partner owned by Colonel A Daly

Tuam Stewards Handicap over 2 miles
1. Tom Pipes owned by Mr Caldwell
2. Curbs owned by Lord Donegall
3. Unnamed filly owned by Colonel A Daly

Tuesday 11th July 1899

Tuam Ladies Handicap Plate over a mile
1. Pleasure Seeker owned by Mr J R Nally
2. The Stutterer owned by Mr P I Lennon
3. Desert Flower owned by Mr J G Houghton

The final meeting took place on Friday 3rd August 1973.
Course today On Parkmore racecourse.
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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