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. In 2018 it was won by Ornua who went on to win a grade 1 at the Aintree Festival from Cadmium who won the Topham Trophy over the National fences also at the Aintree Festival. 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 number of 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 2011 Wrote could only manage 3rd on his debut here, by the end of the year he had won the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs. In July, 2008 a filly trained by David Wachman called Again made here debut in Roscommon. She went on to win the Moyglare Gr.1 and become the top 2-year-old filly in Ireland and the following season won the Irish 1000 Guineas. 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. Mouramara won her maiden in Roscommon as a 3yo and two races later took the Prix Royallieu at the Longchamp Arc Meeting. Panama Hat, winner here first in 2014 and subsequently a winner of the Lenebane Stakes here on July 6th 2015 ran a fantastic race to come 2nd in the American St. Leger Gr.1. 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 has gone on to be a high class hurdler/chaser., winning a Gr.2 at the Fairyhouse Festival in 2019.
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.