The first recorded meeting took place at Roscommon Racecourse in 1837 and was organised by the British Military, when they had a base in the town.
Racing officially began in 1885 and with the exception of a 12 year period from 1936 – 1948 has continued ever since. Racing has gone from one meeting per year to now nine meetings per year held from mid May to late September/early October.
The course is right-handed, of one mile and two furlongs in length with a marked incline to the winning post.
Throughout the years some of Ireland’s best known racing personalities have their roots at Roscommon Racecourse. The course attracts support from leading trainers and jockeys in Ireland in both Flat and National Hunt Racing. Many horses over the years have gone on to much greater things on the world stage and we are determined to see this trend continue.
The two-mile Kilbegnet Novice Chase is our biggest jump race and the 1996 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Imperial Call had his first outing over fences in that, finishing third to Sound Man who went on to win 10 more chases including the Tingle Creek twice. Our biggest race on the flat is the Lenebane Stakes, a listed race over a mile and a half run in July. Over the past 2 years this race has attracted runners from English stables. Trainer, John Oxx has been very successful with his runners in this race.
Many high class 2 year olds have made their debut at Roscommon. In July, 2008 a filly trained by David Wachman called Again made here debut in Roscommon. She went on to become the top 2 year old filly in Ireland and the following season won the Irish 1000 Guinneas. Some years previous to that Michael Grassick introduced Preseli at Roscommon who also went on to become the top rated 2 year old filly in Ireland. Panama Hat, winner here first in 2014 and a subsequently a winner of the Lenebane Stakes here on July 6th 2015 ran a fantastic race to come 2nd in the American St. Leger. Rashaan, winner of the first 3 year hurdle race of the year on the 4th August, 2015 won his next 2 races very impressively and looks to be a leading contender for the top juvenile hurdle races.
Roscommon Racecourse has also been the venue for a variety of other events over the years. These include an annual County Music Concert by Shannonside FM every June, the annual Roscommon GAA Poc Fada Competition and Cross Country Running.