Punchestown Racecourse is located in the parish of Eadestown, between the R410 and R411 regional roads near Naas, County Kildare, in Ireland. It is home of the National Hunt Festival of Ireland.
Dick O'Sullivan has been interim manager since 2003.
The Punchestown Festival is the major horse racing festival of the Irish National Hunt Season and is usually held annually in April. It is held the final week of April and the Festival is over 5 days, between Tuesday and Saturady inclusive. It is seen by many as the Irish version of the Cheltenham Festival and is run in a very similar format. The major races at the Festival are the Champion Chase, Ryanair Novice Chase, Champion Hurdle, World Series Hurdle, Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle, Cathal Ryan Memorial Champion Novice Hurdle, Growise Champion Novice Chase, Champion Four Year Old Hurdle, Champion INH Flat Race and the Punchestown Gold Cup.
Punchestown is also the home of Ireland's best known International Three Day Event. Run under the title of "Punchestown International Three Day Event and Horse Show," the annual event incorporates a CCI*** Three Day Event, National Showjumping and Showing as well as a Young Event Horse Class. Punchestown hosted the European Eventing Championships in 1991 and 2003. The 2008 event was cancelled at an early stage due to problems with the ground.
Punchestown Races were reorganised and reconstituted as 'Kildare and National Hunt Steeplechases' in 1861. The first day of the 1868 meeting attracted an estimated 150,000 spectators.
As well as horse racing, Punchestown is a noted venue for its music festivals Creamfields held in 2000, 2001 and 2002, Witnness held in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 and the current favourite Oxegen held there each year since 2004. Bon Jovi played there on Saturday June 7 2008. Australian rock band AC/DC played there on June 28 2009. Max capacity for concerts is usually 80,000.
The venue has held the Ozzfest a few times.
Eminem played 2 dates there in 2003, selling out both.
Scouting Jamboree 2008
Punchestown was the site of Jamboree 2008, Scouting Ireland's first national Scout Jamboree from August 2-10 2008.
- ↑ richard forristal. Dick O’Sullivan’s remarkable journey has taken him from Tralee to Punchestown via Mexico, and he’s always walked on the sunny side of the street. Irish Independent. 19 April 2010.