More than a thousand horse racing enthusiasts from Longford descended on Punchestown last Wednesday for the 15th annual Longford GAA Race Day, sponsored by Nally Brothers Hyundai in Ballymahon.
The event has proven to be a bumper success for Longford GAA and it has raised nearly €1.5 million which goes towards the costs of running the county's gaelic football and hurling teams at adult and underage level.
In addition to the full house of guests jovially mingling in the marquee, there was plenty of local interest on the track as Philip Reynolds had two horses - Tin Soldier and Presenting Percy - running in the 4.55 Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle.
Reynolds’ green and white colours are becoming familiar in the winners’ enclosure, but there was disappointment for him and Longford punters on this occasion as 8/1 chance Tin Soldier finished 3rd behind the 14/1 winner Champagne Classic and second placed Penhill (2/1). Presenting Percy, who was a winner at Cheltenham, finished outside the placings.
The Punchestown Festival also marked a significant milestone for Granard student and talented milliner, Luke Norton, as a number of headpieces that he designed were worn by ladies attending the races. See Page 31 for more.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Colehill based Claire Howes took part in the 28th running of the annual Punchestown Kidney Research Fund (PKRF) charity race.
Claire was on board ‘Liberty’s Gift’ which is trained by her partner and well known horse trainer Paul Flynn.
All of the riders must raise a minimum of €1,250 for the privilege of taking part. Claire organised a Race Night in Kelly’s Bar, Carrickboy and this raised €4,000.
For more coverage of the Longford GAA Race Day see Pages 21 and 40 & 41.