Horse racing on Laytown strand
Local folklore has it that it was the parish priest who, in 1876, organised the first race meeting on Laytown’s three miles of golden strand. Held intermittently since then, it was not until 1901 that local landowner, Paddy Delaney, established the meeting as we know it today. Nothing, not even two World Wars, has stopped it taking place since then.
Laytown races have not changed very much through the years, but they are unique because they are the only grandstand races held in Europe which have the approval of the governing bodies. The enclosure consists of a three acre field, elevated above the beach. Steps which have been built up into the face of the sand dunes and these form the Grandstand. Marquees are erected on the day before the races and these are used to provide a weigh room, bars and snack bars.
On Race Day, the strand is closed from early morning and work on the course then commences. By the time the first race is ready to start the tide has gone out, and racing can begin.
Laytown is a small seaside resort on the east coast of Ireland, 29 miles north of Dublin. To reach the course, turn off the N1 Dublin-Belfast road at Julianstown.
Regular train services from Drogheda and Dublin (Connolly Station). Tel: 00 353 1 836 6111 Irish Rail (Iarnrod Eireann) for train timetable.
Snack bars and bars provided in the marquees
Contact: Mr Kevin Coleman, the Secretary/Manager, at 9 Palace Street, Drogheda
Tel: +353 (0) 41 9842111
Fax: +353 (0) 41 9842112