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The South Westmeath Hunt have a long history of holding a point-to-point meeting spanning over 100-years as far back as the early 1900’s. The point-to-point was originally held in Kilkenny West before being moved to its current location at Listisson, The Pigeons in 1978.
With its central location in the heart of Ireland, The Pigeons point-to-point is one of the most accessible tracks in Ireland with excellent road links from all corners of the country right up to the entrance gate. The course itself is a mile long per lap and regarded as one of the real staying tracks on the fixture list.
As a real mainstay of the Irish point-to-point fixture list for many decades, The Pigeons has been lucky enough to have played host to many future racing stars at an early point of their career, with the likes of Wicked Crack, Killeaney, Monsieur Monet and Champers On Ice all winners at our point-to-point.
In recent times, Champers On Ice was sold for no less than £205,000 at a public auction which took place at the Cheltenham Festival just a week after winning as a young horse here at The Pigeons and he has since gone on to achieve Graded success for his new connections. This highlights the possibility of you being able to witness the next future star of the sport by coming racing with us.
The Pigeons Point-to-Point Races
Susan Scott - 0872688145
How To Get There
Take the N4 out of Dublin, take the N6 from Kinnegad, in Athlone take the N55 North towards Ballymahon and watch for a sign for the course on the right hand side. The Pigeons is located 130km west of Dublin and 100km east of Galway.
Dublin Airport is just an 85-minute drive from The Pigeons.
Did You Know?
“Wicked Crack, the dam of Cheltenham festival winner, Cue Card, won her point-to-point maiden at The Pigeons in 2000”.
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We are delighted to be able to provide free parking which is ideally located in the centre of the course on top of a hill which allows spectators to have a clear view right around the track without even having to leave their vehicle. This also allows the public to stay dry in their car without missing out on any of the action if the weather takes a turn for the worst.
The excellent viewing position it offers racegoers from their vehicle, ensures it is the ideal location to bring your own picnic and base yourself from the boot of the car. Two of the fences are located beside the car park which provides you with a chance to get close to the action during a race.
Looking to keep updated with on-track racing which is also taking place on same day in Britain or Ireland? Well you won’t miss a thing. Head over the bookmaker’s ring where all of the day’s off-course horse racing, be it at Leopardstown or Cheltenham, will be shown and you can also bet on the away action alongside our own races.
As we are an outdoor event that only happens once a year, many of our facilities are only temporary which adds to the real character of the event. We do of course have a number of portaloos, catering options and much more to ensure you have a very pleasant experience with us.
In between races, spectators can avail of the variety of catering options that we have on offer.
Our food tent is located beside the parade ring which means you don’t have to venture too far from the action to enjoy the social side of point-to-pointing.
You will be drawn in by the smell of hot beef and pulled pork rolls that are made on the day by our team of volunteers. To accompany your roll we provide a wide choice of salads priced reasonably to provide extra fuel during your day at the races. There is also a choice of soup and homemade sandwiches on offer supplied by our committee members.
If hot food isn’t what you are looking for, we also have a delicious selection of cakes, buns and other tempting sweet treats that are made fresh by our hard-working committee members.
We have a choice of hot drinks on offer, from teas and coffees to hot chocolates and soft drinks served to you from our tea tent and or our outside catering vendors.
If you would like something a little stronger, we have a bar tent that offers beers and spirits along with hot whiskeys and port to warm you up on a fresh spring day.
A day at The Pigeons point-to-point races is the ideal day out for all the family in the heart of the Irish countryside.
One of the real treats of racing at The Pigeons, is just how close racegoers can get to the action. Watch the horses being saddled up by their trainers before making your way to the parade ring where the horses, jockeys and connections gather to discuss their pre-race tactics.
Selected your fancy for the race? Well head over to the betting ring where our friendly bookmakers are waiting to take your bet for the race and now it’s time watch the race itself.
Whether you choose to view the race from your car in our perfectly positioned car park on a hill at the centre of the course, or right in front of the winning post, why not also stand right beside one of the two fences in the home straight which gives you the perfect position to get up-close to the speed and excitement of these thoroughbred horses in full flight.
Our younger racegoers are at the heart of our race day with free admission for children under 16 ensuring it is an inexpensive location for Mum and Dad to bring the whole family out on a Sunday afternoon.
Baby changing facilities are available and if you ever need a bottle heated then please just ask a committee member.
The Pigeons course is only a ten-minute drive from the picturesque Lough Ree Portlick Campsite, located at the lake, which is widely regarded as one of the finest facilities of its kind in Ireland and provides a list of activities including kayaking, archery, a waterslide and a zip line if you want to make a weekend of your time with us in Westmeath.