Monday 24 July 2017

High winds a real blow as Rossbeigh race abandoned

John O'Mahony

IT is unquestionably one of the most spectacular venues for horse and pony racing in the country.

But the elements proved spoilsport yesterday when near gale-force winds forced organisers to abandon the big event of the year on Rossbeigh Strand in Co Kerry.

The breathtaking scenery was matched only by the excitement of some dramatic finishes at the gala festival on Saturday but, much to the disappointment of a bumper crowd, Sunday's packed programme was cancelled on health and safety grounds.

Frustrated young jockeys anxious to test the speed and stamina of their horses on the sandy beach waited in vain for the white flag to be raised -- but with no let-up in the wind, the organising committee took the only option available.

"The wind was blowing really hard and there is no doubt that it would have been too risky.

"It was amazing that we almost saw two seasons in just 24 hours as the weather here on Saturday was perfect for racing," said one onlooker.

The races on Rossbeigh beach have a long, proud history dating back to 1924.

Irish Independent

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