Listowel is looking ahead to their seven-day Harvest Racing Festival which was officially launched this week. From Sunday 18th to Saturday 24th of September inclusive, the Listowel Races Harvest Festival, one of the longest established race meetings in Ireland, is set to thrill and excite patrons. Five of the seven days are National Hunt Meetings, while Tuesday and Thursday are flat cards.
There is something for everyone and for people of all ages, including family fun, great racing and live music. There are six fashion competitions set to run on dedicated race days with the Best Dressed Couple’s competition kicking off on the opening day, forever in blue jeans on Monday, Fancy Dress on Tuesday, Best Dressed Man is on Thursday, Ladies Day is Friday, and ending with the Best Sustainable or Vintage competition on Saturday.
The opening day’s card is sponsored by Kerry Group with the first Race off at 1.40pm. The feature is the €40,000 Kerry Group Steeplechase. Racing on Sunday also features a new event, the Lyrath Estate Best Dressed Couples’ Competition judged by top radio and TV personality Elaine Kinsella, with a prize fund valued at €2,000!
Sunday is also family day sponsored by Garvey’s SuperValu and this year’s entertainment is better than ever! Highlights include the free Wooly Farm with chicks, guinea pigs, hens, ducks, rabbits, lambs, piglets and pygmy goats, plus Roo the Llama! Plus the return of Giggles Entertainment with a mini Disco, face painting, free balloons and Coco Melon & Mickey Mouse will meet & greet all the children as they arrive!
The feature race on Monday is the €50,000 Liam Healy Memorial Lartigue Hurdle and the first Race is off at 1.25pm. Monday is also the premier of a brand new competition celebrating one of fashion’s most iconic wardrobe essentials – denim blue jeans! Open to everyone, ‘Forever in Blue Jeans’ is a great excuse to wear your favourite jeans and style them up or down as you wish!
Tuesday’s feature race is the €37,500 Edmond & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes and racing kicks off at 1.25pm. On Wednesday the week’s racing highlight, the €200,000 Grade A Guinness Kerry National Steeplechase, always attracting a huge crowd, with the first race off at 1.25pm.
A 1.25pm start on Thursday sees a card that features the €45,000 Listowel Printing Works Handicap. Back by popular demand, the Best Dressed Man’s Competition is sponsored by Ryles Menswear Tralee and will be judged by Nathan McDonnell. There is a prize valued at €2,000 for the winner.
The Ladies take over on Friday! This is the eighth year of McElligotts sponsorship of this prestigious fashion event and they are delighted to welcome on board Kia Ireland as official event co-sponsors. Judged by Bairbre Power, fashion writer and Aoife McNamara, Irish fashion designer, the fantastic first prize is a trip for two to New York with spending money. There are also generous cash prizes of €1,000 for the most creative headpiece and €500 for the most contemporary outfit.
The penultimate days feature is the €80,000 Grade B Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle and the days action gets underway at 1.40pm. Then to round off the week, the €21,000 M.J. Carroll Handicap Hurdle is the highlight on the last day of the meeting and the first race is off at 1.40pm.
There will also be live music each day and a wide selection of catering facilities, including excellent corporate entertainment packages. Tickets can be purchased online or at turnstiles on the day, visit listowelraces.ie for more information.
The Association of Irish Racecourses would like to wish everyone at Listowel Races every success with their upcoming festival.
By Leo Powell