Courtmacsherry gets set for annual race day on the strand

Horses, trainers, and jockeys are at the ready for the annual Courtmacsherry Strand Races tomorrow.

The Lislee Derby is the feature race of the Courtmacsherry Strand Races. Picture: Martin Walsh

The eight-race programme will start at 3pm in the West Cork village, providing a thrilling spectacle on the sand bank of the Atlantic bay.

The event was revived in 2000, as part of a Millennium project. And, since then, the strand races have become an intrinsic part of the wonderful array of events in the famed lifeboat village.

The racing is governed by the tides. The oval track, with white paling posts and blue rope, is marked out for low tide. In addition, a temporary bridge to allow access on foot will also be installed .

The Courtmacsherry Community Centre has become the jockeys’ changing area, weighing rooms, and a café. One of the daily car parks is transformed into a parade ring and winners’ enclosure.

A second car park, meanwhile, provides the perfect viewing and betting enclosure.

Bookies shouting the latest odds, crepes, chips, and cones will all lend to the atmosphere and, for the fashion-conscious, there’s the best-dressed-lady competition.

The feature race is the Lislee Derby, for the O’Donovan Brothers’ Perpetual Trophy.

Another popular race is the maiden of the John Drake Perpetual Memorial Cup.

The Courtmacsherry Strand Races are just one of many events in the village, which last weekend hosted a Summer Songbook Weekend. The popular Courtmacsherry Harbour Festival began on July 3 and runs to August 1, with the annual Regatta pencilled in for July 30.

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