Lacken Strand Races in Co. Mayo

Horse Racing along Lacken Strand

There is a century old tradition of horse racing on Lacken Strand and after a lapse of 44 years, Lacken Strand Races were re-established in 1997, making it one of the leading horse and pony racing events in Ireland.

The last recorded horse races in 1953 were very different to the modern day racing on the strand. In those days, working farm horses and half-breds from the surrounding parishes would gather for the races. Nowadays, Lacken Strand Races sees thoroughbred horses and ponies coming from some of the top stables and leading bloodlines in the country. The races take place towards the end of May each year, in line with ever-changing tidal conditions.

The strand at Lacken provides an excellent racetrack which is laid out in a five furlong oval loop in the sand, with simple stakes and thin rope to cordon off the spectators from the action. Irrespective of weather the underfoot conditions never change and the oval track is a great exhibition of racing with the horses no more than a few hundred yards from the large crowds who attend. As a result punters have the opportunity to view their horses and chosen colours from start to finish.

Since its revival Lacken Strand Races has developed into a great family day of entertainment, with many side events such as All-Ireland sheaf throwing, tug of war, half hundred weight and shot competitions, children's athletics, mother and father races, pillow fights and numerous novelty events.

Other attractions include amusements such as bouncy castles, , swings etc, making it a great day out for all age groups. Food, drink, ice-cream and refreshments are also available.