The 150th Galway Races Summer Festival

Monday 29th July to Sunday 4th August 2019


The Countdown to Ireland’s Largest Horse Racing Festival has begun

On Monday 29th July, Galway Racecourse will stage its 150th Summer Festival. For a century and a half, people from all over Ireland and abroad have been coming to ‘Galway’ in their tens of thousands to enjoy the highly anticipated annual seven-day Galway Races. This year plans are in place for what will be an extra special year. Prizemoney has been boosted to a record-breaking level in Galway to over €2.3 million, an increase of €250,000 on last year. With fifty-two races over the seven days, each day offers a minimum prize fund of €120,000 for the feature race, with a minimum value for any race at Galway standing at €17,000.


Increased Prizemoney for Galway Plate to €300,000 and Two New Qualifying Races.

The hotly contested Galway Plate on Wednesday 31st July, a race synonymous with Galway and key to the history of the Festival, has received a significant increase of €50,000 with the prize fund for the 150th running of this race now standing at €300,000. President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins is once again expected to present the Galway Plate to winning connections. Worth €300,000 in total prize money, the race has produced some high-class recent winners including, Carlingford Lough, Road To Riches and the 2017 winner Balko Des Flos to mention a few.


Ticket Sales and Hospitality

The Galway Races contributes over €54 Million to the local economy. Advance ticket sales have proved very strong, pacing ahead of last year’s figures. To celebrate their 150th birthday and to thank their customers for all their support over the years, Galway Races have a special offer on general admission tickets with €5 off each ticket. Offer ends 5th July so book now to avail of this birthday treat.  Corporate hospitality once again proves very popular at the Ballybrit venue, with the first five days now sold out with active waiting lists and limited availably for the weekend.


GUINNESS Renews its Partnership with a New Five-Year Deal

GUINNESS has today announced the renewal of its partnership with the Galway Races. The sponsorship is set to continue for another five years, making GUINNESS the the longest continuous sponsor of horse racing in Ireland. Paddy Carberry, Sponsorship Manager at Diageo, said; “We are delighted to continue our longstanding commitment to the Galway Races. GUINNESS has been involved with the Galway Races for 54 years, it’s exciting to be here for the 150th anniversary of the festival. We’re looking forward to another brilliant racing festival this summer and seeing who comes in at the Guinness Galway Hurdle”. GUINNESS sponsor the card at Galway on both the Thursday and the Friday of the Summer Festival, with the hotly contested GUINNESS Galway Hurdle Handicap race of €300,000 taking centre stage on Thursday 1st August 2019.


Reveal of a Commemorative Piece of Sculpture  

Irish artist John Behan, firmly established as a sculptor of international stature, was last year commissioned by the Galway Race Committee to design and produce a bespoke piece of life size art entitled “Leading in the Winner” to celebrate the 150th mile stone at Ballybrit.  This piece will be revealed on the opening day of the Summer Festival and will be a stunning new fixture at the racecourse located beside the parade ring.


Commemorative Pin and Brochure

Racegoers this year will be treated to a complimentary Galway Races 150th lapel pin and a commemorative brochure as a memento to celebrate the year, a small gift from the Galway Race Committee to thank all those that support that races now and over the years.


Country Music Day – Wednesday

With country music hugely popular throughout the land, get your dancing shoes ready and join professional dancer Niall Doorhy and friends on Wednesday at the Galway Races for some fun, dancing and lots of entertainment. Stetsons at the ready!


Meet the Stars of The Turf

During racing on Tuesday and Friday, Kevin O’Ryan will host a fun and engaging event on the main stage located behind the Millennium Stand. Join Kevin as he chats to many well-known faces from horse racing and the world of sport.


Largest Line up of Entertainment Yet!

This year, the team at Galway Races present to you its biggest musical line up yet! They have over forty-seven live music performances over the seven days of the Festival, including the Galway Girl Dancers, Havana Club, The Conquerors, Bongo Steve, The Gamblers, DJ’ Ronan Lardner plus lots more!


The Singer Song Writer Competition

Galway Racecourse together with Galway Bay fm announced details of a new singer songwriter competition, where one lucky winner will win €1,000 cash, perform live at Ireland’s Largest Horse Racing Festival and gain huge publicity. Entry is now open. The competition is open to all types of song, in any style – ballad, country, pop, rock etc. Commenting on the competition, Michael Moloney General Manager of Galway Racecourse said, “Galway and the West of Ireland is bursting with musical talent, all you have to do is walk down Shop Street in the heart of Galway City on any given day and you’re met with an array of fantastic musicians. We want to reward that talent and what better time than our 150th birthday! We are now inviting all musicians/ singer songwriters to take part.  We can’t wait to hear what you have in store for us”.


Shop Window Competition

The Galway Races, in association with the Galway Chamber and the Galway City Business Association have for the second year organised the ‘Galway Races Shop Window Competition’ and are inviting businesses across Galway City and County to take part. Businesses, no matter what the size, could be in with a chance of winning an exclusive prize of a VIP day at the races for your team worth €3,000, so enter the competition and join in on the milestone celebrations of 150 years of Ireland’s largest horse racing festival! Check out the Galway Races website for more information.


Opening Performance with the Galway Tenors

On Monday, as the horses go to post for the first race, racegoers will be treated to a special opening performance in the parade ring by the Galway Tenors (Frank Naughton, Sean Costello and Alan Greaney) as they perform arousing songs to officially open the 150th Galway Races Summer Festival.


150 Years of Making Your Hair Stand on End

After 150 years, ‘Galway’ continues to do what it has always done. It stirs the soul, makes our hearts beat that little bit faster, brings us together as families and generations. It gives us an occasion to celebrate. It has survived and thrived and is a race meeting like no other, it creates a feeling like no other. The style, the entertainment, the sense of history and all the thrills of top-quality racing. Thinking about it is enough to give you goose-bumps. Or, in other words, it’s enough to make your hair stand on end!  For more information and to book tickets to this Summer’s 150th Galway Races visit