Punchestown Racecourse

The Irish National Hunt Festival is held each year in April, at the Punchestown Racecourse in Naas, County Kildare, Ireland. As well as the National Hunt Festival, Punchestown hosts the annual John Durkan Memorial Chase.

Punchestown Racecourse is a premier grade, right-handed, undulating track with courses for flat, hurdle, and chase racing. The hurdle course is one mile, six furlongs, and the chase course is two miles round. During the winter months, the “middle straight” is used to ensure that the main track is rested for feature races, such as the Punchestown National Hunt Festival races.

You can contact Punchestown Racecourse by phoning 045 897 704 or e-mail to info@punchestown.com. For more information about the facilities at Punchestown Racecourse, visit our Punchestown Racecourse facilities page. For travel directions, go to Punchestown Festival travel.

History of Punchestown Racecourse

In Gaelic, Punchestown is “Baile Fuinse”, meaning “Valley of the Ash Trees”. With a history that dates all the way back to 1824, Punchestown Racecourse is often seen as the home of Irish National Hunt racing. In 1868 the racecourse drew a crowd that no other racecourse has yet beaten, when 150,000 people came to watch the races.

Over the last few decades, Punchestown Racecourse has undergone massive development. In 2001 a 60,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Event & Exhibition Centre was added to the Punchestown complex. Facilities for supporting the huge numbers of spectators who attend the Punchestown Festival each year have been added and expanded, and the complex includes unlimited free car parking. During the Punchestown Festival reserved enclosure seating is available free of charge, adjacent to the terraced stand in the reserved enclosure. These seats fill fast and are available only on a “first come, first served” basis.

In January 2005, the Irish Stable Staff Association gave Punchestown Racecourse the Best Racecourse of the Year award. In 2008, the event was extended to a five-day festival for the first time.

Don’t miss the excitement of the National Hunt Festival at Punchestown Racecourse. For ticket information, visit our Punchestown Festival tickets page.