GOWRAN PARK RACECOURSE, Co. Kilkenny
(Gaelic: An Gabhran. Meaning: The Pass of Gabhran)
If somebody asked you to put a racecourse anywhere in Ireland the chances are you would set it down in Gowran Park. There is something very homely and localised about the place, it's probably something to do with the wooded parkland, in the centre of which the racecourse is cuddled, giving it a warmth and character that is not to be found on any other course in Ireland. You just can't create places like it any more, it really is the perfect setting for horseracing and furthermore it's augmented by modern facilities and competitive racing.
Real Horse Country
If Kildare is considered to be the home of the horse in Ireland then the Kilkenny/Carlow region around Gowran Park must be the equivalent of the cosy country retreat of the horse in Ireland. The area is awash with famous training establishments and stud farms and has been a hotbed of famous horses and horse people for over a hundred years. Red Rum, the only triple Grand National winner was bred by the McEnery family nearby. Legendary trainer Paddy Mullins and his sons Tom, Willie and Tony train locally. The famous Ballylinch, Ballyhane and Burgage Studs are situated in the area. It's part of the fabric of local society. And it shows in the attendance at Gowran. People in the area really appreciate and know their racing and they have a course that they can be proud of.
The course is a right-handed undulating track of one mile and four furlongs in length that stages flat and National Hunt racing.
For more details, see www.gowranpark.ie