Knockout - Punchestown Racecourse, Ireland

Punchestown racecourse
Punchestown Racecourse is situated in the expansive parish of Eadestown, close to Naas, County Kildare - Ireland. 

It is known as the home of the Irish Jumps Racing and thus plays host to Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival. 

The well-laid out facility itself is right-handed with a sharp undulating hurdle track and a steeplechase facility. The Punchestown hurdle course measures one mile and six furlongs while the site’s chase course measures an estimated 2 miles. This well-known sporting arena is also regarded as the only existing cross-country banks amenity in the whole of Ireland. 

Besides horse sporting, Punchestown holds several music concerts, including the yearly Oxegen festival, inviting names such as AC/DC, Bon Jovi & Eminem. In 1982, U2 played to over 16,000 fans with the support of other timeless greats such as Phil Lynott, the award-winning Rory Gallagher, and the irresistible Simple Minds. This was an integral part of the much publicised Hot Press fifth commemorative celebrations.

American rock band Bon Jovi performed at Punchestown on Saturday 7 June 2008. Shortly after this worldwide elevation of the racecourse’s status,  Australian rock band AC/DC also visited the grounds and staged their concerts there on 28 June 2009, before an electrified crowd estimated at 69,354. 

Punchestown Festival is the main horse racing gala of the Irish National Hunt Season and is held every April. The Punchestown Festival is usually staged between Tuesday and Saturday. This event is viewed by many keen observers as the Irish Cheltenham Festival and is managed similarly. 

The main races at the Festival include the Champion Chase, the Ryanair Novice Chase, the Champion Hurdle, the World Series Hurdle, the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle, the heavily attended and televised Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle, the widely followed Growise Champion Novice Chase, the star-studded Champion Four Year Old Hurdle, the enduring Champion INH Flat Race and the routine Punchestown Gold Cup.

Punchestown is again the home of Ireland's most influential International Three-Day Event. Managed under the famous title of "Punchestown International Three-Day Event and Horse Show," the once-a-year function entails a Three Day Event, the keenly followed National Showjumping and Showing, and the regular Young Event Horse Class. 

The prestigious Irish racecourse notably hosted the popularly acclaimed European Eventing Championships on two noteworthy occasions - 1991 and 2003. However, the 2008 occasion was adjourned at an initial stage following some technical issues with the sporting ground.

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Contact details: Punchestown Racecourse, Punchestown, Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland

Tel: + 353 (0) 45 897704

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