Greyhound Races in Ireland

Posted by Neil Hand on the 6th of May 2016 at 15:15:42

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Animal racing is very popular in Ireland. Horse racing generates huge interest, with big festivals taking place at Punchestown, Leopardstown and Galway. The other major type of animal racing in Ireland is Greyhound racing. It is really wonderful to watch these impressive dogs hit their maximum speed of more than 40 mph during a race. What better way to get your heart rate pumping than to put a small bet on which dog will win?

During a race, the dogs run on an oval shaped track against each other. There are different races with different kinds of length. The dogs start the race in boxes, known as traps, which are lined up side by side at the start line. They chase an artificial bunny around the track. On a regular meeting night there are about 10 races with different distances. You will find more information in the race programme, which you get before the races added to your ticket or on the website of the Irish Greyhound Board.

Greyhound stadiums and tracks are located all across the island of Ireland. In Dublin, there are two stadiums to watch greyhound races: Shelbourne Park and Harold’s Cross.

I watched my first Greyhound Race a few weeks ago at Shelbourne Park and I was really impressed with the event. Shelbourne Park is not that far away from the City Centre, and you can reach it by foot from St. Stephens Green in about half an hour. It is a nice small Stadium where you can get a good view from everywhere. There are restaurants and bars inside where you can get beer and food for a very good price. We pre-booked our tickets online and received them on the evening of the event at the entrance. We paid €10.95 each and choose a group offer which included a free drink and a meal of chicken tenders and chips. The meal was very tasty and great value, for an additional price of 95 Cents to the normal entrance price of 10 €. It is very easy to book the tickets on the website and I really recommend it because sometimes you can get very good offers online that are not available on the evening. If you’d prefer to arrive at the track without a booking, this is not a problem, as it is also possible to buy a ticket at the stadium.

The stadiums have often regular meeting nights at the weekend and on one evening during the week but there are additional meeting nights as well, details of which you can find online.

On my evening at the Greyhound races I had a few small bets the dogs. It’s great fun to root for the dogs even if you don’t win. You receive a programme of the races for the evening with information about the dogs. Information on how to read the race programme can be found here. Greyhound racing is very popular amongst gamblers. You can bet on Greyhound races in a number of different ways, but I think for the authentic experience you can’t beat the excitement of placing a bet at the stadium. Detailed information on how to bet can be found on the website of the IGB and in the racing programme that you receive at the entrance of the stadium.

If you're interested in an exciting night at the dogs, or would like information on other tours of Ireland,contact us today!

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