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The season began on January 22nd at Killeagh with a ten race card where Mike Condon on Progello took the opening confined maiden. Tom Costello won the maiden on The Thinker who went on to win the 1987 Cheltenham Gold Cup for Arthur Stephenson. Ted Walsh won on P P Hogans Vulelek under 13st.

At Dungarvan P P Hogan took the opener with Joke Is Over who went on to be a useful chaser for Billy Boyers. At Gowran Michael Reardon won the open on Lady Earls Bowery Buck while Martin Brassil rode a double on Mrs M O’Tooles Regal Pleasure and Diamond Bend.

Liam Keogh took the mares’ open at Castletown-Geoghegan on his own Master Suite while the Open went to Wilson Dennison’s Lethimgo under Rosemary Stewart (Rooney).

Ted Walsh secured a Bray treble on Shrewd Operator (P P Hogan), Beautiful Sound (P J Donovan) and The Wood Road (M Wilson). Frankie Fitzsimmons took the winner of one at Crumlin for Brian Hamilton on Ferniegair.

At Fairyhouse Pat Kelly finished second in the maiden on Insure who would return to the venue to win an Irish National under Mickey Flynn while on the other end of the scale Mrs Joan Moores Tied Cottage is fourth in the Open Lightweight. Pat would go onto train two Cheltenham festival winners in Mall Dini and Presenting Percy.

The four-and-five-year-old maiden at Patrickswell was won by Ah Whist who became a prolific points winner in the 1980’s while Eric McNamara took the Hunt race on Burren Gold.

Only four races were run at Moy, South Tyrone as deteriorating ground conditions saw the remaining races abandoned.

Stewards Enquiry

Richard Kehoe won the famers race at Punchestown on Leapy Lady.  At Lismore Mr T Wade trainer and rider Michael Phillips were summoned by the stewards to explain why Shamrock Master joined in the race without coming under starters orders.

At Fairyhouse Colin Magnier refused to ride in the Anglo Irish race as he felt the track was not fit for 23 runners. The stewards then heard complaints from other rides and referred the matter to the stewards of the INHS committee while 21 horses went ahead and took part with Tony Martin winning on P O’Gradys Captain Tony. 

Tom Mullins won the Kilkenny hunt maiden race on King Burger for Mrs J Forte. Insure won his maiden at The Pigeons but the running and riding of runner up Tullamarine under Pat Kelly was investigated by the stewards. Kelly stated his mount had a history of falling and had been pin fired so he had been instructed not to hit his mount but win if he could. Mr Kelly was cautioned to make more of an effort in riding a finish in future.

At Coolattin Killegar Kim won under Alfie Evans but the stewards inquired into a report that Evans had received a lead after dismounting the winner in the parade ring. The stewards following their inquiry were satisfied that the winner carried the correct weight but cautioned Evans as to carrying lead on his person while riding.

The final race on the card went to Jacks Back owned and ridden by John Dagg. John plays an important role in the running of Tinahely point-to-point while his wife Mary has been in the position of secretary for many years.


Enda Bolger enjoyed a Bruff four-timer before going onto ride 33 winners that season and won his first title. John Sleator rode a Tyrella treble en route to becoming Ulster Champion on Rathbeg for Mrs J Todd, Copper Don for Mrs W E Fletcher and Fearless Bachelor for J Turley.

John Shortt won the maiden at Naas on Mrs P Taaffes Highland Chatter. Michael Hourigan’s Navallus won the Liscarroll maiden under Brian Murphy.

There was an opening race double for Pat Healy at Mallow on Nabucco and Kilrush Prince while Caroline Beasley won the Open on Such Fun and Michael Winters won the younger maiden on his own Lady Shot but had to survive an objection from Tom Costello on runner-up Swindon Boy who alleged that Winters took his whip from his hand during the race. 

At Dundalk Paul Larkin took the first on Merrywell for the Geraghty’s who is later the dam of the Champion Hunter Chase What Odds who won four point-to-points and five races under rules.


George Mernagh took the Limavady open on Blinkybill for T D Osbourne. At Ballingarry Captain D G Swan won the Hunt race on Moonlight Swim beating Mrs M Cahalan on Rathlube. There was only 17 runners at Gowran on April 29th with George Pierce gaining a walkover on Pauper Hill and Kilcotty Wonder finishing along under J Codd.

Timmy O’Callaghan took an opening race double at Ryecourt on Lollys Patch for Mrs A Mullins and Ceylon Tartaque for M Hurley. Rugged Fair finished second at Stereame under David O’Connor but the result read that although he finished second Rugged Fair was accidently interfered with by the Huntsman’s horse.

AWARDS VENUE:                                           Minella Hotel, Clonmel
CHAMPION RIDER:                                         E.Bolger 33
CHAMPION LADY:                                          Caroline Beasley,
                                                                         Carmel Connaughton
CHAMPION NOVICE(7lb claimers):                 W.J.Burke
ULSTER CHAMPION:                                      J.F.Sleato
MUNSTER CHAMPION:                                   E.Bolger
LEINSTER CHAMPION:                                   A.J.Martin
CONNAUGHT CHAMPION:                               T.S.Costello
HORSE OF THE YEAR:                                    No award until 1993
CHAMPION SENIOR(OVER 33):                       No award until 1986
PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR:                         No award until 1985

33        E.Bolger
26        T.S.Costello
16        A.J.Martin
15        J.F.Sleator
11        T.M.Walsh
9          P.Larkin, M.Phelan.
8          W.J.Burke, P.J.Healy,
7          A.Evans, P.J.Finn, F.G.Fitzimmons, T.O’Callaghan
6          J.Codd, D.Hassett.
5          P.F.Graffin, L.Lennon, J.J.Mangan, B.Murphy. 
4          T.J.Bergin, P.Cully, T.Howley, R.Jennings, L.Keogh, C.P.Magnier, P.D.Reardon.
3          M.Ahern, J.R.Banahan, Miss C Beasley, M.Brassil, E.M.Byrne, Miss C.Connaughton, J.Dagg, J.F.Daly, P.Fanning, L.Higgins, R.Kehoe, P.G.Kelly, P.McCarthy, J.McGeer, C.B.Mortell, M.A.Murphy, T.O’Brien, D.O’Connor, M.O’Keefe, M.Phillips, G.Stack, P.Verling.
2          R.Carmichael, Miss M Carroll, M.Condon, W.Connors, G.Farrell, J.Fennessy, F.Gaul, J.Gibbons, L.J.Gracey, R.Hurley, P.M.Kelly, T.Lombard, D.W.McAuley, S.McCarthy, S.McKeever, P.McMahon, E.McNamara, D.Murphy, M.J.Murphy, V.P.O’Brien, M.O’Connell, J.Queally, M.N.Riordan, R.Rother, R.Steele, W.J.Vance, M.Winters.
E.Andrews jun, D.Atkinson, P.Atkinson, P.Bannon, M.F.Barrett, T.Behan, J.Berry, J.Biggane, M.Blake, A.Brindley, J.Bryson, I.Buchanan, E.Casement, B.Cockburn, L.Conway, D.Costello, M.Cross, S.Cummins, J.Curran, S.Darcy, R.Day, N.Dee, P.Deegan, P.Downey, P.Doyle, P.Duggan, D.Dunne, P.Fenton, Mrs A Ferris, G.Fitzgerald, J.J.Flynn, D.Foster, B.P.Fox, C.Gash, R.Gleeson, M.Greene, O.Horan, D.Johnston, I.J.Keeling, S.Kerr, J.Leahy, J.Lombard, G.Lynch, J.Lynch, T.MacGuinness, J.Mawhinney, K.P.McCarthy, D.McGoona, M.McNeilly, P.McQuillan, G.Mernagh, Miss F. Morgan, M.Moore, T.Mullins, T.Noblett, D.Nolan, J.O’Callaghan, F.O’Connell, W.O’Connell, P.F.O’Donnell, A.O’Gorman, Mrs E.O’Grady, Lulu Olivefalk, Miss C O Neill, E.M.O’Sullivan, G.Pierce, G.Quinn, D.F.Reidy, W.Rice, T.Ryan, J.Sheedy, J.Shortt, Rosemary Stewart, D.G.Swan, M.Tuite, Miss S N Turner, J.Tyrell, R.Verling, J.Walsh, M.Walsh, D.Williams.
To have a look back through some previous years click on the link below.

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