A Brief History of Wexford Racecourse
Monday, 15th October
1951 was an important day in the lives of everybody with an interest in racing and, in
particular, for those enterprising people who turned the dream of opening a new racecourse
at Wexford into reality.
The new track at Bettyville looked green and spacious; the new stands afforded excellent
viewing facilities for the thousands of spectators and contemporary press reports offered
conservative estimates which claimed an attendance of 17,000 on that pleasant historic
The first race was a
2 o'clock and the admission prices for the day were ten shillings (.63c) for gentlemen,
five shillings for ladies (.32c) and half-a-crown (.20c) for the outside enclosure. Car parking was
free and catering was in the experienced hands of Lawlors af Naas.
The Chairman of the Racing Board, Mr. W.T. Cosgrave was in attendance to give the fixture an air of officialdom and to inspect the new course for himself, together with N. O'Dwyer, Course Architect and the Contractor for the racecourse, Paul Murphy of Brownswood, Enniscorthy was also present.
The Directors appointed were the brothers, Dr. T. E. Pierse and Dr. James
Pierse, the County Manager, T. D. Sinnott, the Chief Agricultural Officer, M. T. Connolly,
P.O. Lambert and Dan Murphy with James White as Secretary.
The Directors became Officials on the day along with the Hon. W.E. Wylie K.C., Sir James
Nelson, Major M. L. Larkin, Dr P. D. Murphy and Messrs J. G. Duggan, J. de Bromhead, P.
Molony and A. French.
70 horses faced the starter, Major R. H. Scott. Each race offered £130 prize money.
Sinntara, dam of the hero of 2000, Sinndar, winner of the Irish and English Derbies and
the Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, won a maiden race at Wexford on 30 July 1992 and added
the Irish Cesearewitch at the Curragh in September of that year.