independent

Friday 1 August 2014

Point to point meeting running for 60 years

Published 13/03/2014|05:26

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North Cork's famed annual Liscarroll Point to Point race meeting on Sunday, March 23 will take on a special significance this year for the race committee because it holds the distinction of being the longest running fixture over the same lands of the O'Brien family at Knockardbane for over 60 years, from 1954 to 2014.

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North Cork's famed annual Liscarroll Point to Point race meeting on Sunday, March 23 will take on a special significance this year for the race committee because it holds the distinction of being the longest running fixture over the same lands of the O'Brien family at Knockardbane for over 60 years, from 1954 to 2014.

The present race committee will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of holding the meeting at the same venue at Knockardbane and they have a number of events organised leading up to the meeting, which will involve all the local community, thus copperfastening its reputation as a family oriented event.

Revived in1954 after a lapse of many years by a race committee drawn from the local farming community and run under the auspices of the Derrygallon Harrier Club, the event quickly established itself as one of the leading point to point meetings in Cork County and indeed in the entire country. Many of the names that acted on that first committee are still to be found in today's organising committee, such as Madden, O'Flynn, Bourke, Hutch, Fleming, Hurley.

The annual event has come a long way from that revival meeting in 1954 when the admission fee was one shilling and the race card contained five races with the total prize money being £150.

On Sunday, March 23 the meeting will be held under the auspices of the Duhallow Hunt Club and there will be a six race card with €7,500 in prize money and the admission will be €8 with free entry for children, so a very reasonable amount for a guaranteed great family day out.

Liscarroll has always attracted leading horses and jockeys down through the years many of whom have cut their teeth on the three mile long course. They include names like the famous Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman.

Bred by Colman O'Flynn in Fermoy and trained by former jockey Adrian Maguire, Denman ran in the 2005 Liscarroll Point-to-Point meeting when his jockey was the leading amateur Colman Sweeney.

Denman was subsequently sold to English owner, Paul Barber and sent to the Paul Nicholl's stables in Somerset in England.

Other jockeys to figure at Liscarroll over the years were Nicky Dee, Enda Bolger, Norman Williamson, Adrian Maguire, Timmy Murphy, J.T. McNamara, Noel Fehilly, Richard McLernon, Connie Vaughan, Jimmy Gordon, Anthony Scannell, Bill McLernon, Michael O'Connor and more recently Derek O'Connor.

The annual race meeting has always been well supported by the local community, for after all this is horse country with Churchtown just a few miles away, the home of the famous owner and trainer, Vincent O'Brien.

This year the race committee has organised an art and colouring competition for local school children with the theme 'Race Day in Liscarroll', while old racing colours and modern day silks will be displayed in the windows of local premises in the week leading up to the race meeting.

On race day there will be a special celebration marquee where there will be a display of memorabilia such as old race cards, photographs, old newspaper cuttings and race reviews along with trophies and silver ware. In addition there will be presentations made to land owners who have facilitated the annual event, and surviving winning riders and family representatives of deceased winning jockeys, successful owners and trainers from the 1954 fixture.

Corkman

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