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Home > Racing & Tickets > Race Information > >News & Media > Press Releases > CHRISTMAS JUMPER FASHION SUCCESSFULLY REPLACES TRADITIONAL ‘BEST DRESSED’ COMPETITION FOR FIRST TIME EVER AT A HORSE RACING FESTIVAL!

CHRISTMAS JUMPER FASHION SUCCESSFULLY REPLACES TRADITIONAL ‘BEST DRESSED’ COMPETITION FOR FIRST TIME EVER AT A HORSE RACING FESTIVAL!

Saturday, 1 December 2018 at 04:41PM

Meath Man Paul McGrath Wins Inaugural Winter Festival Christmas Jumper Competition

Fairyhouse Racecourse in Co Meath have combined the run into the festive season and a different type of more festive fashion  with what is the traditional start to Ireland’s classic winter racing season by bringing together their big Winter Racing Festival which attracts 8,000 racegoers this weekend with the first fun large scale Christmas jumper competition of the year. Leading lady rider, Kate Harrington, who is also assistant trainer to her mother the Cheltenham Gold Cup winning trainer Jessica Harrington was the judge of today’s fun competition and she chose the popular local winner Paul McGrath from nearby Ashbourne as the winner of the inaugural Fairyhouse fun Christmas jumper competition to win the grand prize of a VIP trip to the Fairyhouse Easter Festival, home of the ‘Race of the People’ and Ireland’s richest race the Irish Grand National including hospitality at the racetrack to see Ireland’s favourite race on Easter Monday 22nd April 2019 and an overnight for four in Dunboyne Castle Hotel. Paul had the complete Christmas ensemble of festive socks, dickie bow, shirt as well as his green woolly patterned jumper.

Tomorrow sees the highlight of the jumps season so far this season with three Grade One races which are the most valuable to be run up to now this year. Over 8,000 racegoers are expected to attend the two days of racing at the famous Winter Festival at Fairyhouse where Ireland’s top horses and jockeys compete for €650,000 in prizemoney.

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Fairyhouse Marketing Manager Kate O’Sullivan said “Whilst the traditional best dressed competitions are often fiercely fought at the races we felt we’d liven things up a bit for our Winter Festival which is such a popular and fun event traditionally in the racing calendar and introduce an alternative that certainly attracted every age and personality this weekend. We were surprised at the standard and number of entries which actually exceeded the number of entries at most of the more traditional Best Dressed competitions at other racecourses around the country!”

The long established Winter Festival of Racing at Fairyhouse is the traditional start to the classic season of National Hunt jumps racing in Ireland which sees the best horses in Ireland all vying for pre-eminence as the look toward the ‘Olympics of jumps racing’ that is the monster Cheltenham Festival every March where the best Irish horses cross the Irish Sea to take on the cream of England’s best thoroughbreds. Over 8,000 racing fans will have flocked to the Co Meath track outside Ratoath Village this weekend (Saturday and Sunday 1st and 2nd December) where €650,000 in prize money was on offer including three Grade One races of which the ‘Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle’, won in recent years by Hurricane Fly, Jezki and most recently by the all conquering mare Apples Jade, was the highlight. 

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