Portmarnock, IE – The first running of the Irish American Celebration Weekend, as part of the “Invest in Ourselves” breeding initiative announced earlier this year, is further more international recognition and support for the growth of the sport of harness racing in Ireland.
To be held this weekend, Saturday and Sunday June 5 & 6, the event was launched by the official body for the sport of harness racing in Ireland, the Irish Harness Racing Association (IHRA), is in recognition of the financial and organizational support that they have received from industry leaders and globally recognized farms in the United States of America (US) Bill Donovan, Hanover Shoe Farms and Winbak Farms.
The weekend will feature 17 races including the inaugural four year old graduate races and The Derby and The Oaks for three year old horses. The inclusion of these races will see an increase in prizemoney. The weekend racing will culminate with Graded Handicap Trot & Pace races and Grade One Pace races seeking the top Standardbred horses in both codes from across Ireland to compete. Plans already include top drivers, trainers and industry leaders from the US to attend the event next year once Covid restrictions have been lifted.
To promote and highlight the ties between the harness racing communities of Ireland and the US, as well as showcase the great racing that will be available this coming weekend at Portmarnock Raceway, a number of the top professionals from across both countries’ industries have been interviewed. These will be released leading up to and during the weekend and will include, the main sponsors of the event Bill Donovan and representatives from Hanover Shoe Farms and Winbak Farms as well big names in US harness racing like John Campbell, Casie Coleman and Yannick Gingras. Racing will commence both days at 2pm Irish time. The whole weekend will be livestreamed and available to watch in real time from across a number of media outlets including IHRA TV, which can be found on the IHRA website: www.irishharnessracing.com/
The Irish American Celebration Weekend is set to become one of the most important dates annually in the Irish harness racing calendar and is a great example of the international interest and investment that is being given to help support, promote and grow the sport in Ireland.
From the Irish Harness Racing Association