A NEW, state-of-the-art stable yard, part of a major development costing close on €500,000, was officially unveiled at Killarney Racecourse on Sunday by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.
The 54-unit American barn-style facility designed and built by Redweld Stables brings the total number of stables at the track to 145 and, the minister noted, the quality of the development will play a major part in attracting more top trainers and horses to the scenic course.
“Killarney is the most beautiful racecourse in the entire country. There is no place quite like it and now it is one of the most modern in terms of facilities,” Minister Creed said on the opening day of the three-day May meeting.
He said the equine industry was a global force and Ireland was on top of its game due to the vision and hard work of those involved, including Horse Racing Ireland and dedicated people like those involved in the Killarney Race Company.
Killarney Race Company chairman Gerard Coughlan said the new stable block and the renovated existing stables was an indication of the many big improvements to come at the track.
He said his main aim as chairman will be to work more closely with the local business community and to develop stronger ties between the town and the racecourse.
“The races have a great deal to contribute to Killarney with the three annual festivals bringing 80 races over a total of 11 days. The conservative estimate is that the races are worth in the region of €6.2 million to Killarney with an additional €1.42 million in prize money,” he said.
Mr Coughlan said the reputation of Killarney as a top class racing venue is growing at a great pace and that was very much in evidence last Monday evening when 2017 Cheltenham winner Rock The World – trained by Jessica Harington and now owned by JP McManus – competed on day two of the meeting and didn’t actually win.
The chairman also revealed that Killarney will seek to add to its 11 days of racing annually, whether by adding days to the three festivals or opting for a new stand-alone festival.
Above: Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Gerard Coughlan, Chairman, KRC, pictured in the new €500,000 Stables on the opening day of the Killarney Races. PICTURE: DON MACMONAGLE, TEXT: Killarney Advertiser