Equestrian Sports

As early as 1765, there was an account of horse races held in Carlow. The events of the day also featured public breakfasts and cockfighting, while race balls were held in the evenings. In the period 1760's up to circa 1810, races were held on six days a week. By the 1840's the number of race days had been reduced to three and to two by the 1860's.

In the late 1700's William Montgomery of Burrin Street, Carlow was Clerk of the racecourse. All horses intending to run had to be registered with the Clerk eight days before the race and there was an entrance fee of one guinea. The owner of the winning horse was also charged five shillings for scales and straw. Subscribers were asked to send subscriptions to Francis Dillon, Esquire, Treasurer.

Examples of other regulations pertaining to these early race meetings were "No wine or ale tent to be pitched on the Race ground, but by the inhabitants of the County of Carlow; wine tents paying 11s. 4d. half. Ale tents 5s. 5d. each. Such persons who erect tents on the road near the race ground, are to pay the proprietor of the ground, the same as if erected with the course."

These races called the Carlow Races were also more commonly known as the Ballybar Races.

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