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Racing, fun and more in Wexford

Bettyville Park Wexford is a great day out for all the family to enjoy in the sunny South East. The relaxed, warm and friendly atmosphere at Wexford Races is complemented by the excitement and entertainment staged on and off the track.

Wexford has a rich racing culture that continues to flourish. The racecourse has been developed in stages, and is now one of the finest tracks of its kind with the constant support of leading owners, trainers and jockeys.

Monday, October 15th, 1951 was an important day for those with an interest in racing in this part of Ireland, and for the enterprising people who turned their dream of opening a new racecourse at Wexford into reality.

The new track at Bettyville looked green and spacious; the new stands afforded excellent viewing facilities for the thousands of spectators, and contemporaneous press reports offered conservative estimates of an attendance of 17,000 on that pleasant and historic October afternoon.

The first race was at 2pm, and admission prices on the day were ten shillings for gentlemen, five shillings for ladies, and half-a-crown for the outside enclosure. The chairman of the Racing Board, Mr. W.T. Cosgrave, was in attendance to give the fixture an air of officialdom. Seventy horses faced the starter, Major R. H. Scott, during the day and each race offered £130 in prize money.

Sinntara, dam of the racing hero of 2000, Sinndar, successful in the Derby at Epsom, the Irish Derby at the Curragh and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, won a maiden race at Wexford on July 30th, 1992, and added the Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh in September of that year.

Strong financial support from the Wexford Racecourse Supporters’ Club, and with the added assistance of sponsorship, ensured a programme of improvement was set in train. The first task was to improve the condition of the track. The surface was levelled and drained, the sharp bend into the straight was eased, two furlongs were added on the western side, and cambering on the bends made racing safer.

With the track in order, management turned its attention to improving the facilities for patrons. On May 31st, 1996 the Minister for Agriculture, Ivan Yates opened the new stand, complete with new bars and Tote betting facilities.


Two furlongs were added to the track and the direction of racing was changed from right to left in early 2015. The reservoir has been moved in order to widen the eastern end of the track and irrigation has been updated. Track widening, which is ongoing, will allow for fresh ground for two day racing. Stabling has been greatly improved and increased. The jockeys and valets area has been extended and upgraded, and the weigh room is next in line for upgrading.

The Ivy Room, Carriglawn Room, Bettyville Bar or Long Bar are the perfect places for chats and celebrations! The Ivy Room with Good Enuf To Eat Banqueting, offers are excellent hot food in comfortable surroundings overlooking the racetrack.

The Carriglawn Room is suitable for private parties of up to 80 people. Finger food or a buffet can be organised and there is a Tote operator on duty. To find out more, to book your tickets and checkout offers online visit

The Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) would like to wish Eddie Scally and all his team the very best of luck with the opening meeting of their season this weekend and are especially mindful
of the hardship caused to many by the fire this week at the nearby Wexford Hospital.

By Leo Powell

Irish Field

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