This week’s Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) column brings you news of the action-packed programme for the forthcoming Harvest Racing Festival at Listowel, which runs from Sunday 17th to Saturday 23rd of September. This year celebrating 165 years of quality racing at the track.
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are all National Hunt meetings with Tuesday and Thursday featuring all flat racecards. In addition, there is something for everyone of all ages including six fashion competitions, great live music acts including Superfly and DJ Marty Guilfoyle and some very special celebrity guests!
The opening day’s feature race is the Kerry Group Steeplechase €40,000. Sunday also features the return of the best dressed event, the Lyrath Estate Best Dressed Couples Competition judged by Kristin McKenzie Vass, with a prize fund valued at €2,000!
Sunday is also family day sponsored by Garvey’s SuperValu and this year’s entertainment promises to be better than ever! Highlights include the free Wooly Farm with chicks, guinea pigs, hens, ducks, rabbits, and many more! Plus the return of Giggles Entertainment with a mini disco, face painting, free balloons. Coco Melon & Mickey Mouse will meet all the children as they arrive!
The feature race on Monday is the €50,000 Liam Healy Memorial Lartigue Hurdle and will also see the return of a competition celebrating one of fashion’s most iconic wardrobe essentials.
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! It will be judged by top model and actor Timmy Dowd, and has cash prizes in male and female category.
Tuesday’s feature race is the €37,500 Edmond & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes. Top Irish DJ Marty Guilfoyle will be spinning the vinyl, and there are cash prizes for the best dressed young racer, under 25!
The week’s racing highlight, The Grade 3 Guinness Kerry National is on Wednesday and will attract a huge crowd. Listowel Racecourse is partnered with Royal Ascot and their Chairman, His Majesty’s Representative, Sir Francis Brooke and other Directors, will be guests. This is to say thanks for the hospitality shown to the Listowel Directors over the past few years.
On Thursday, the feature race is the €45,000 Listowel Printing Works Handicap, while back by popular demand is the Best Dressed Man’s Competition on Thursday, sponsored by Ryles Menswear Tralee.
The Ladies take over on Friday! This is the ninth year of McElligotts sponsorship of this event and they are delighted to once again welcome Kia as official event co-sponsors. Judged by international fashion designer, Don O’Neill and model and businesswoman, Elvira Fernandez Zebo, the winner’s prize of a Trip for Two to New York, will be enhanced by prizes of €1,000 for the Most Creative Headpiece and €500 for the Most Contemporary Outfit.
The €50,000 Charlie Chute Memorial Handicap Steeplechase is the feature race on the last day of the meeting, Saturday 23rd of September. Listowel was the first racecourse to host a sustainable focused fashion competition and it continues to grow in popularity as racegoers dress to express their individual fashion personalities by wearing vintage and pre-loved outfits. Model and vintage lover, Pat Walker will judge this year and there are prizes for both male and female entrants.
There will also be live music each day and a wide selection of catering facilities on course which including excellent corporate entertainment packages. Visit www.listowelraces.ie for more information.
The Association of Irish Racecourses wishes new chairman David Fitzmaurice, Breda and all the team at Listowel Races the very best of luck with their Harvest Racing Festival.