Famous Old Ballabuidhe Horse Races

Sunday 6th August – Monday 7th August – Tuesday 8th August 2017

Entries to be in no later than the evening of  Monday the 31st of July 2017


Three days of racing, with over 250 horses competing from all over Ireland for a total of €40,000 in prize money Cups and trophy’s.

Huge attendances – On Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.

Free entertainment and sideshows for children each day including Puppet Shows, Face Painting & Bouncing Castles


Historic gathering for Fair on Tuesday night and Horse Fair on Wednesday.

Traditional focal point of reunions and visitors from all over the world

The origins of the Ballabuidhe Horse Fair and Races are lost in antiquity, with written records only going back to 1615.

To the present day, Ballabuidhe Fair carries on the ancient tradition of great fairs like Tara and Tailte, incorporating horse racing, selling and buying of wares, and the display of fine horses for sale.

Ballabuidhe Races comprise over thirty races of which about half are trotting and sulky. The rest are flat races for ponies and horses, specially bred for speed and agility. These are not only exciting for the spectator, but have proved a valuable training ground for aspiring jockeys.

Trotting horses are not new to Ireland; they were introduced to England early in the eleventh century. It can be assumed that they came to Ireland with the Normans. As by the fifteenth century, Irish pacing horses or ‘hobbies’ were famous in England for their speed and success in races. In recent years, registration of trotters and pacers, drivers and jockeys have increased annually.

After three days of racing, the famous old Ballabuidhe Horse Fair is held, and in conjunction with it, a Horse Show. Held on the streets, it is the only one of its kind in the country.

Chairman’s Address

It is my very pleasant duty to welcome all who attend Ballabuidhe Races & Fair on this the 402nd year of the granting of the charter from King James 1st to Randal Og Hurley to hold Ballabuidhe Fair. There are not too many events out there that can say that they were there in the year 1615 and on this occasion it is only right and proper that we remember all those people who have helped to keep Balabuidhe going over the years and we especially honour the committee who purchased this race track and gave us a permanent home for our races.

The Dunmanway Chamber of Commerce have got involved with us over the past few years and already are making a big difference with their help organising The Best Dressed Lady and the Children’s Fun day.

Ballabuidhe has always been about enjoying yourself, we’d like that tradition to continue and we hope that you will enjoy this years races. As I have often said in the past, there would be no races without our sponsors ‘Big and small’, so I say a BIG thank you to all of them, specially MURPHY’S STOUT, COMAN’S BEVERAGES, GATSBYS NIGHT CLUB, KILLEENVENOGE WIND FARM, HURLEY & WHITE, DRINAGH CO/OP & THE PARKWAY HOTEL.
PLEASE SUPPORT OUR MANY SPONSORS who help to keep the races going.

I would also like to thank the people who work behind the scenes, from the members of the HPRA and the ITHRF to the Red Cross, the Gardai, Cork County Council and the Vet, who generously give their services free and anyone who has contributed in any way to the continued success of Ballabuidhe. I sincerely hope that you will all enjoy yourselves at Ballabuidhe and as the saying goes


Yours in Sport,
James Connolly, Chairman