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The Punchestown Festival enjoyed another fantastic annual festival this week. Despite offering punters all four seasons over the five days, the crowds turned out in force and the atmosphere was as vibrant and lively as ever!

Attendance figures were up on 4 of the 5 days, with Ladies Day on Friday attracting the greatest numbers when 36,620 attendees turned out in their finery.

Ballymore Family Day saw 25,396 junior racegoers, families, socialisers and racing fans descend on Punchestown. The overall attendance at the festival was 118,318!

Conor O’Neill, CEO Punchestown commented “We took a big risk this year and made many substantial changes which thankfully paid off and despite the inclement weather, we’ve enjoyed an absolute beano! Whether you’re 5 or 95 there has been something for everyone here at Punchestown this week and that’s what it’s all about! People make Punchestown and we’re so grateful to our sponsors, many stakeholders and everyone who came along to support us! This afternoon I’m most proud of our remarkable team, their unwavering commitment and hard work has been rewarded and I’m delighted for everyone!”

The feature race the Ballymore Champion 4 Year Old Hurdle went to post at 4.50pm. The winner Kargese was given an exceptional ride by Paul Townend to win the final Grade 1 of the season for trainer Willie Mullins and owner Kenneth Alexander.

History was made at Punchestown today when 25 year old Jack Kennedy was crowned Champion National Hunt Jockey of the season for the first time. The Irish National Hunt Champions of the 2023/24 Season are; Champion Owner JP McManus, Champion Trainer Willie Mullins, Champion Jockey Jack Kennedy, Champion Conditional Danny Gilligan, Champion Amateur Patrick Mullins and Champion Lady Amateur Jody Townend.

And off the track there were plenty of winners too including Ciara Toolen from Dublin who won the Bollinger Best Dressed Competition. Her prize, a ‘money can’t buy trip for two’ to Paris, the Champagne Region, Reims and the Bollinger Estate and a year’s supply of Champagne Bollinger.

Finally, on Ballymore Family Day the winner of the 2024 Punchestown Art Competition for juniors was second class student Finn Houlihan from Ballyshannon National School. The senior competition devised for group entries was won by Holy Child, 4th Class, Room 1.

The 2025 Punchestown Festival, will take place from Tuesday 29 April to Saturday 03 May. Flexi tickets are available online now for a limited time only. The Festival flexi ticket allows access to any one of the five days at Festival 2025, so get your Festival 2025 Flexi Ticket at

Boodles, Bollinger and Bravado galore…at the Punchestown Festival on Day 4!

Despite the damp weather, the atmosphere at Punchestown remained as vibrant and lively as ever on Ladies Day. The stylish crowd added splashes of colour to lift the spirits of the enclosures while the thrilling action on the track ensured there was something for everyone to enjoy!

Ciara Toolen from Dublin, who was fast tracked to the final on Tuesday, the opening day of the festival, emerged victorious as the overall winner of the Bollinger Best Dressed Competition at Punchestown.

Her reaction to the win was a beautiful blend of shock and excitement. Ciara’s win was a testament to her timeless taste and style, qualities that shone brightly throughout the competition. Her ensemble exuded sophistication and elegance, showcasing her unique fashion sense and attention to detail. Her outfit featured a stunning hat by Linda Fleming from Wexford, a chic suit by Balmain, a stylish coat by Reiss, and a beautifully crafted blouse by Irish designer Aoife McNamara. Ciara’s outfit effortlessly captured the essence of the event, earning her the coveted title of Bollinger Best Dressed at the Punchestown Festival.

The Style Council tasked with selecting the 2024 Bollinger Best Dressed Winner included Jess Colivet, Jessica O’Mahony, Lawson Mpame, Suzie O’Neill, David O’Connor, Kate Nally McCormack and Roxanne Parker. They were seeking a combination of elegance, creativity, and attention to detail, qualities that Ciara showcased in abundance. Her head-to-toe curated look embodied the essence of Bollinger’s motto: “Timeless taste, Timeless style.”

As Ciara basks in the glow of her well-deserved victory, she looks forward to enjoying the amazing prize that awaits her. Ciara and a guest will enjoy a ‘money can’t buy’ trip of a lifetime to the home of Bollinger. This is not a cliché, you literally cannot buy this prize as it is invitation only. Business class flights to Paris, five-star hotel accommodation, Michelin Star dining, private chauffeur are all included. In addition, they will enjoy an exclusive Champagne Bollinger experience including private tour of the cellars, vineyards, gardens, house, an overnight stay in the beautiful capital of the champagne region Reims and one year’s supply of Bollinger.

All finalists received a deluxe goody bag with gifts from Bollinger, AYU and Pestle and Mortar and the most stylish gent Hugo Browne was treated to a case of Bollinger along with a Louis Copeland tailored suit along with commemorative cuff links and tie.

The feature race on Friday’s card, The Boodles Champion Hurdle (Grade1) was won once again by State Man the odds-on favourite. The Champion Hurdle hero is now a ten-time Grade 1 winner and is unbeaten in five course runs at Punchestown.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the final day of the 2024 Punchestown Festival, when the next generation of racegoers will descent in their droves for Ballymore Family Day. An amazing day out for all the gang with tons of free children’s activities, shows and rides to choose from, Family Day at the Punchestown Festival is also exceptional value with a pay on the gate ticket available at €50 per family.

Gates will be open from 11.30am, the first of an eight-race card goes to post at 2.30pm and the feature race the Ballymore Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (Grade 1) is scheduled for 4.50pm.

For more information and updates on the Punchestown Festival visit




For Further Information Contact:

Carey Ann Lordan, Red PR

M: 087 9270730         E:               T: 052 6184343


Shona Dreaper, Punchestown

T: 045 897704          E:


Editors Notes:

Pics attached | Captions Embedded | No Repo Fee (Michael Chester)

Music Manager Nadine King hits the right note in the style stakes at Punchestown!

Nadine King, a music manager from Donnybrook, stole the show in the fashion stakes. Her impeccable sense of style wowed the Bollinger Best Dressed Style Council who ultimately deemed her today’s best dressed at Punchestown.

Wearing a tailored suit by Destree, Nadine exuded confidence and elegance as she paired it with Christian Louboutin shoes and a Chanel bag. It was her 16-year-old Mad Hatter hat that truly set her apart for the judges, worn not just as a fashion statement but a symbol of luck and sentimentality.

The Bollinger Garden buzzed with excitement as the competition unfolded. Among the finalists, a married couple, Raymond Gilbourne and Jillian Kelleher, added a delightful twist to the competition.

Jess Colivet, head judge, shared insights into their decision-making process emphasising to the crowd the importance of a meticulously curated look from head to toe. For Nadine, every detail was considered and well thought out, a fact that did not escape the discerning eyes of my fellow judges.

Reflecting on her victory, Nadine expressed shock and excitement, grateful for the recognition amidst a fun day out with her girlfriends. She is the final contender this week to enjoy a fast track pass to the final of the Bollinger Best Dressed Competition tomorrow (Friday) when more finalists will be selected and the overall winner will be announced.

Much to the delight of punters, the weather cleared prior to racing as Day 3 of the Punchestown Festival got underway at the County Kildare track. For the third day in succession, the crowds were up! 18,289 attended today compared to 17,783 on day 3 of the festival in 2023, an increase of 3%.

The feature race on the card, the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1) went to Teahupoo in Brian Acheson’s Robcour colours for trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Jack Kennedy. The win put Jack Kennedy 6 ahead of Paul Townend in the 2024 Irish National Hunt Jockeys Championship.

The first race tomorrow (Friday) goes to post at 3.40pm and the feature race on the card is the Boodles Champion Hurdle (Grade1). State Man is odds on favourite, the Champion Hurdle hero is a nine-time Grade 1 winner and also unbeaten in four course runs at Punchestown including last year’s renewal of this very content. He will be taken on by Irish Point, Colonel Mustard and Sir Gerhard at 6pm on Ladies Day at the County Kildare Venue.

For more information and updates on the Punchestown Festival visit

Image Courtesy of Patrick McCann/Racing Post
Caption: Teahupoo and Jack Kennedy win the Gr.1 Champion Stayers Hurdle for owner Brian Acheson and trainer Gordon Elliott.

It was another increased attendance at peerless Punchestown this afternoon, where 21,652 spectators enjoyed day two of the action packed five-day festival. With the sun shining, Faith deemed best dressed and the feature race winner ‘Fastorslow’ ensuring the Bollinger stayed flowing, there was plenty to celebrate at the County Kildare venue.

Fastorslow delivered again today for owners Sean and Bernadine Mulryan to take the feature race on the card, the Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup. He bravely denied Galopin Des Champs to retain his crown in fine style for trainer Martin Brassil and Jockey JJ Slevin.

Faith Amond, hailing from Milford, Carlow, graced the Punchestown Races with her signature elegance, turning heads with her impeccable outfit choices. Her ensemble was a tribute to timeless sophistication, with a hat by Caithriona King Millinery adding a touch of flair, complemented by a bespoke dress crafted by Kilkenny designer Miriam Nolan. Faith’s Fendi vintage bag, retrieved from her wardrobe after years of ownership, added a nostalgic charm to her look. Completing her ensemble were gloves by Paula Rowan and exquisite jewellery by Miriam Haskell.

Despite celebrating her 71st birthday just last month, Faith’s attendance at the Punchestown Races spans over four decades, a testament to her enduring love for the event and passion for fashion. While her style is undeniably impeccable, Faith has only been a finalist twice ever at Punchestown, showcasing her humility and genuine passion for attending the races annually.

The judging panel on Wednesday, consisting of Jess Colivet, David O’Connor, Kate Nally McCormack, and Michelle O’Sullivan, praised Faith’s ensemble, with Jess Colivet noting that the winner embodied the timeless taste and style synonymous with Bollinger.

The day dawned with sunny skies, setting the stage for an atmosphere of excitement that peaked to breathtaking heights as the races unfolded. Faith’s presence added an extra layer of charm to the already vibrant ambiance, making the popular winner a standout figure amidst the festivities. She will now progress to Friday’s grand final when the overall winner will be announced.

The attendance was up again today with 21,652 in attendance compared to 20,354 in 2023. The first race tomorrow (Thursday) goes to post at 3.40pm the feature is the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdles with 11 runners declared.

For more information and updates on the Punchestown Festival visit

Over sixteen thousand attendees enjoyed a cracking start to the five-day festival at Punchestown Racecourse. With earlier start times, enhanced facilities, exciting racing featuring no less than 3 grade ones, the Bollinger Best Dressed Competition and even the sun making an appearance, the opening day really gave punters a feel for what’s in store for the rest of the week at the County Kildare Venue.

The feature race on the card, the William Hill Champion Steeplechase (Grade 1) worth €300,000, did not disappoint. Banbridge, trained by Joseph O’Brien and ridden by JJ Slevin in the colours of Ronnie Bartlett beat Captain Guinness by a neck in a nail-biting finish which saw the winner staying on to get the upper hand.

Ciara Toolen, a pharmacist from Dublin, emerged victorious as the winner of the prestigious Bollinger Best Dressed Competition at the Punchestown Festival. Making her debut in the world of best-dressed competitions, Ciara stunned the judges and attendees alike with her impeccable style.

Ciara’s ensemble exuded sophistication and elegance, showcasing her unique fashion sense and attention to detail. Her outfit featured a stunning hat by Linda Fleming of Wexford, a chic suit by Balmain, a stylish coat by Reiss, and a beautifully crafted blouse by Irish designer Aoife McNamara. Ciara’s outfit effortlessly captured the essence of the event, earning her the coveted title of Best Dressed which will see her fast-tracked to Friday’s final on Ladies Day at Punchestown.

The Bollinger Best Dressed Style Council, comprised of fashion industry experts Jess Colivet, Roxanne Parker, and Lawson Mpame, faced a difficult task in selecting a winner from the array of stylish contenders. However, Ciara’s ensemble stood out for its sophistication and timeless appeal, earning high praise from the judges and securing her victory.

Reflecting on the competition, judge Jess Colivet remarked, “The first day of the Bollinger Best Dressed competition at Punchestown racecourse was full of stylish outfits, even with the changing weather. People showed off their elegant and stylish looks, making it tough for us judges to pick a winner. But one person stood out for their sophistication and grace, winning everyone’s admiration.”

Ciara’s inspiration for her winning look stemmed from a hat she had owned, using it as the centrepiece to curate a stunning ensemble that perfectly complemented the atmosphere of the Punchestown Festival.

Ciara Toolen’s triumph in the Bollinger Best Dressed Competition marks a memorable moment in her fashion journey and reinforces Punchestown Festival’s reputation as a premier destination for high fashion and horse racing enthusiasts alike.

Despite the initial damp start to the day, attendees remained undeterred, bringing an abundance of style and glamour to the event. As the day progressed, the sunshine emerged, illuminating the Bollinger garden and adding to the splendour of the occasion.

The attendance was up on the opening day of the festival with 16,361 in comparison to 14,937 in 2023. The first race tomorrow (Wednesday) goes to post at 2.30pm the feature being the Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup at 5.25pm.

For more information and updates on the Punchestown Festival visit

Punchestown Festival Gets Underway As Racing Celebrates Historic Season

MEDIA RELEASE 29th APRIL 2024: They’re coming home! The winners, the heroes and the champions return to the home of Irish jump racing tomorrow for the grand finale of what has been a history making season, as the 2024 Punchestown Festival kicks off from Tuesday 30th April to Saturday 4th May.

Organisers anticipate an attendance of 100,000 people across the five-day event that attracts visitors from throughout Ireland, the UK, Canda and even as far as Australia making the pilgrimage to the hallowed amphitheatre. The main attraction is the prestigious top-class racing that showcases the very best of Irish racing talent and the stars of the show include the recently crowned Champion Trainer in Britain Willie Mullins, Racheal Blackmore, Henry de Bromhead and Gordon Elliott.

With €3.5 million in prize money on offer across 40 races featuring 12 grade one contests the standard will be as high as ever. Epic clashes of old adversaries like dual Gold Cup champion Galopin Des Champs and 2023 Punchestown Gold Cup winner Fastorslow are top of the bill. In fact, a majority of feature race winners from this years Cheltenham Festival are set to line up across the week at Punchestown. Another tantalising showdown has emerged in the champion jockey category where reigning champion Paul Townend is hoping to make up ground on Dingle native Jack Kennedy who rides for the Gordon Elliott stable.

Following a reinvigorated recruitment campaign throughout the UK the number of British trained runners has more than trebled since last year. This is a very encouraging trend as hosting overseas horses and connections is a unique feature of the festival. There are many new names amongst the British trainers travelling as the next generation of handlers emerge.

The Punchestown team have committed to deliver four strategic changes at this years flagship racing festival. Following market research and stakeholder consultation, the first two days will start at the earlier time of 2.30pm. Ticket prices have been dropped to just €30 early in the week and €40 for Friday and Saturday with concessions for seniors, students and families. Children under fourteen year so f age race for free every day at Punchestown throughout the season. The Festival layout has undergone a revamp with the old reserved enclosure barrier removed and new features included throughout. Finally, improved and enhanced food and beverage offerings and service are introduced across the site.

People make Punchestown and key to all great celebrations is the combination of guest list, live entertainment, delicious food, amazing style and this is where the Punchestown Festival delivers in spades. Over 17,000 hospitality clients from 795 companies, 158 of which are UK based, will enjoy delicious seasonal menus prepared and served by 60 chefs, 420 catering staff and 280 bar staff. Catering for this number means large scale and three tonnes of fresh vegetables, over 60 kilos of artisan cheeses and 15,000 portions of petit four desserts and canapes will be enjoyed over the five days. Throughout the pavilions, bars and enclosures the atmosphere builds with live music, street theatre and DJ sets running alongside shopping village and full entertainment programme.

The Bollinger Best Dressed competition is one of the most prestigious style challenges on the racing calendar with finalists chosen across the first four days progressing to the final on Ladies day, Friday 3rd May. Open to all, the fresh take on race day style encourages entrants of all ages to be creative, sustainable and brave in a bid to win the ‘money can’t buy’ prize to Paris and The Bollinger Chateuax in Champagne region. Following feedback a separate gents prize will be presented this year.

As one of Ireland’s largest events the Punchestown Festival is big business bringing a massive boost to the local economy with over €60 million generated through tourism, leisure and associated spends. However, the event also plays a significant community roll working alongside local GAA clubs and charities to generate funds through volunteer schemes and fundraising initiatives. The Punchestown Kidney Research Charity race, now in its 33 year, has raised close to €2 million and is joined this year by charities Cara Rescue, Samaritans, and three local national school funds.

Punchestown CEO Conor O’Neill looked ahead to the event: “This years festival has a great buzz about it with an extra celebratory feel as the champions return to the home of Irish jump racing. We have rolled out some major changes in response to customer feedback with the event layout and entertainment programme better than ever. We even have good news on the weather front! All that remains is for friends old and new to join us across five brilliant days at the iconic Punchestown Festival”.

The Punchestown Festival takes place from Tuesday 30th April to Saturday 4th May at Punchestown Racecoure. Full event tickets and information available at


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Harry Derham: To have horses going to the Punchestown Festival this early in my career is still a bit of a pinch-yourself moment


For many years, Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson led the British assault on the vast prize money on offer at the Punchestown Festival but while the venerable duo remain at the peak of their powers, the succession race is on and there is a new gang in ‘Town.

Anthony Honeyball has an amazing strike rate at Ireland’s traditional end-of-season jamboree and will be bidding extend his winning sequence to a fourth consecutive festival next week.

The Full Circle Series, designed to provide more opportunities for horses rated 130 or less, has attracted the attention of a number of Honeyball’s compatriots as a result of half of the ten qualifiers being held on the other side of the Irish Sea.

The €80,000 final takes place on Tuesday’s opening leg of the five-day carnival of jumps racing, and among the British conditioners represented are Honeyball, Ben Pauling, Tom Lacey, Venetia Williams and Charlie Longsdon.

Harry Derham does not have a horse among the 34 still standing in the final, but he plans to mark the end of his first full season as a trainer by bringing former Derby fancy, Brentford Hope and three other horses to Kildare to bag a slice of the riches on offer.

The last time Derham was in Punchestown, he was in select company, with the world ground to a halt by Covid.

As assistant trainer to his uncle, the aforementioned Nicholls, he was oversaw the preparations of two-time King George VI Chase victor, Clan Des Obeaux for the Ladbrokes Gold Cup in 2021. Given a peach of a ride by Sam Twiston-Davies, Clan held off the valiant challenge of dual Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo.

They proved it could be done then, as Honeyball has more recently and Sophie Leech also did 23 months ago.

Derham may be just 29 and in the nascent stages of his new career, having saddled his first runner as a trainer at the end of 2022 after 11 years in Ditcheat, but he doesn’t like to place limits on himself.

A Cheltenham Festival winner as a jockey, who gave up riding young, the neophyte is clearly ambitious and talented but also pragmatic. He knows he is entering the lion’s den but given what Mullins, in particular, has managed everywhere from Nakayama to Auteuil, from Nashville to Melbourne and from Royal Ascot to Riyadh and that he will be crowned British champion jumps’ trainer tomorrow at Sandown, there doesn’t seem any point in running and hiding.

Go out and grab a slice of the pie for yourself is the Derham approach as he embarks on the succession trail, doing what his erstwhile boss did before him. With a strike rate of 25% since saddling his first runner towards the end of 2022, the neophyte is making his presence felt and it would be the cherry on top to come away from Punchestown with a winner.

“The first time I was in Punchestown (in 2014), I rode in the boys’ race (the Martinstown Opportunity Series Final) for John Kiely,” Derham remembers. “Gave the horse (On The Way Out) a terrible ride. Then I rode for Paul and Graham Wylie, a horse called Grandioso in a handicap chase and he ran well.

“Then I came back and represented Paul when Clan Des Obeaux won the Punchestown Gold Cup behind closed doors. It was a very odd experience because obviously you win an enormous race like that in front of about seven people!

“The two occasions I’ve been there, I’ve been blown away by the track. It’s an absolutely amazing racecourse. To have runners there next week is really cool.”

Recalling that surreal experience of three years ago, the Boxford-based handler continues: “That was a day I genuinely will never forget… You never take being part of a prestigious race like the Punchestown Gold Cup for granted.

“To me that was my favourite performance of Clan’s that day, He was really brave. It was a great performance. It was just a shame that nobody was there! I remember giving Sam a hug after and then realising, ‘Oh, you can’t do that!’

“I was struck by how well we were looked after and there was no expectation for that given Covid, so I’m looking forward to heading over there in normal times.”

Derham has nothing but respect for the record-breaking feats of Mullins and hails the Closutton supremo as a hugely positive influence on horse racing. But he will not run away if he spots an opportunity, regardless of venue or jurisdiction.

“Anthony Honeyball is a great example. He’s done fantastically well at Punchestown. It shows it can be done. Paul always said to me, ‘Wherever you’re going, whether it be Wincanton, Punchestown or Newbury, you have to have the right horses.’ If you get to the right races with the right horses then you have a chance.

“I have nothing but admiration for Willie and what he’s built. I’ve heard myself correcting a lot of people recently saying, ‘Oh it’s all right for him, he gets the best horses.’ He didn’t always get the best horses. He didn’t start with 250 horses. He’s got them because he’s the best. He’s the bar that everybody else has to get to and I don’t begrudge him anything. I think it’s phenomenal what he’s doing.

“I think he’s good for the sport and it’s something to be celebrated. I’m not going to say I’d love to get to his level as it would be a mad thing to say, but he is, without question, the person all of us jump people have to beat if we want to get to the top.”

He is fully aware how difficult it will be to saddle a winner next week but is hopeful of four good runs that will yield some nice prize money.

Brentford Hope has won five times over hurdles for The Optimists Syndicate since being bought from stout Punchestown supporters and sponsors, Seán and Bernardine Mulryan out of the Richard Hughes yard. The seven-year-old son of Camelot’s rating has increased from 114, when he won his maiden at Wincanton 13 months ago, to its current mark of 145.

Tuesday’s Listed Killashee Hotel Handicap Hurdle is the target now.

“He has been a real flagbearer for the yard. We didn’t feel Cheltenham was his track. We’ve tried to keep him to slightly more level tracks. I know Punchestown is a little bit undulating but it’s a lot more gradual than it would be at Cheltenham. A horse like him deserves to go to a festival now.

“Sir Psycho, who’s running in the Listed EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Chase on the Friday has done well for me all season. He’s run good races and it’s his last chance to run in a novice chase. It’s worth €100,000 as well. What a fantastic chance for him to run in a race like that.

“On Thursday, Molly’s Mango will run in the Listed Close Brothers Mares’ Novice Hurdle which is a nice race for mares that haven’t won graded races, which takes out a couple of the top ones like Jade De Grugy and (her former Gordon Elliott stablemate) Brighterdaysahead. Molly ran well at Cheltenham. She’s a lovely mare who’s going to go novice chasing in the autumn and there’s a lovely programme for mares’ novice chases in England but I think she will run a nice race.

“Queensbury Boy is a winner of a bumper over here. We were going to go for a valuable bumper just after Cheltenham but he wasn’t just quite right. He’s a really, really nice horse and will be a smart novice hurdler next season but he is going to take his chance in the JP & M Doyle Bumper on Thursday.”

All his owners apart from one are making the trip and the excitement is growing.

“For me, Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown are the three monster meetings of the jumps racing calendar.

“I want to win and I’m bloody competitive but to have horses going to the Punchestown Festival this early in my career is still a bit of a pinch-yourself moment. I’m certainly not taking for granted how cool it is after 18 months as a trainer to be taking four to a meeting of that magnitude.”


Introducing The Fruit Shoot Family & Schools Activation

Punchestown Racecourse today welcomed Britvic Ireland as official soft drinks pouring partner in a three-year deal that will commence at the upcoming Punchestown Festival running from Tuesday 30th April to Saturday 4th May 2024.

The deal provides exclusivity across all catering partners and retail outlets throughout the Punchestown enclosures for the Britvic range that includes Pepsi, 7Up, Ballygowan and the premium mixer range London Essence Co.

Britvic is an international business that, like Punchestown, is rich in history and heritage. Britvic is a global organisation with 39 much-loved brands sold in over 100 countries.

In addition to the pouring rights element, Britvic have also come onboard to support the Family Day Schools and Activation programme under the Fruit Shoot brand. In keeping with tradition, over twenty local primary schools partake in a festival themed art competition with entries displayed at the Festival Family Day, Saturday 4th May. This year the students were tasked with creating a model racecourse using sustainable and recycled products. There will also be a Fruit Shoot zone in the family area at the Festival on Saturday, where families can engage with the brand and sample some product.

Caroline Hyde, Marketing Manager at Britvic said: “We are delighted to be partnering with a flagship venue like Punchestown Racecourse. The Punchestown Festival is not only one of Ireland’s premium sporting and social events but it’s also Ireland’s largest corporate hospitality occasion. Hyde continued: “The schools activation is a perfect fit for the Fruit Shoot brand. At Fruit Shoot we champion kids and everything they love and with our great tasting on the go drinks kids they’re free to get on with being themselves’’

The 2024 Punchestown Festival returns from Tuesday 30th April to Saturday 4th May 2024. The sporting and social highlight will attract crowds of up to 100,000 across the five days. The unique blend of top-class sport, vibrant enclosures, style, food and lie entertainment has earned the event a ‘must do status’.

For further information please visit: www.


New equine centre to be named in memory of Jack de Bromhead at the ChildVision campus in Drumcondra

€1,000,000 funding already secured through donations

Original Honeysuckle silks to be auctioned at next week’s Punchestown Festival


Today ChildVision, the specialist therapy and education centre for children with visual impairment, announced that a much-needed new indoor equine therapeutic centre, named in memory of Jack de Bromhead, will be built this year as a result of generous donations from a group of family and friends of the de Bromhead family.

The new indoor facility at the ChildVision campus will give children who are blind, multi-disabled and neurodiverse access to the best global equine activities in a supportive and purpose designed environment and will allow the ChildVision equine team and volunteers to extend their services to reach more children over more hours making a life-changing difference, especially through the winter months and in bad weather conditions.

Spearheaded by de Bromhead family friend and well-known racehorse owner Chris Jones, and with the blessing of Jack’s parents Heather and Henry, the €1,000,000 donation target required to complete the equine therapeutic centre, was reached last December.

To continue to donate towards the running costs of ChildVision’s equine programme, Kenny Alexander, owner of equine superstar Honeysuckle, which was trained by Henry, has donated the racing colours that Rachael Blackmore wore in all of their major races including four Cheltenham Festival victories and nine Irish Grade 1 winners. The iconic silks, signed by Rachael, Henry and Kenny, will be auctioned at the Goffs sale at the Punchestown Festival on Thursday, May 2.

The de Bromhead family – Henry, Heather and their daughters Mia and Georgia, said of today’s announcement: “The equine centre will be a wonderful legacy for our beloved Jack, a hugely missed son and brother. Horses are a huge part of our lives, and we know the physical experience of riding a horse offers so many potential benefits, especially helping address a host of physical, social and emotional issues. More so, it will be a place of learning and hope, full of laughter and joy, traits that were such a part of Jack, all facilitated by the much-treasured horses and ponies that call the ChildVision stables home. We are looking forward to following the development and construction of the new equine therapeutic centre and being there to cut the ribbon when it is completed. We are forever grateful to those who came on board to support us – we know Jack would be really proud of what this life-changing generosity will enable.”

Speaking about how the idea came about, Chris Jones, said: “I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit ChildVision last summer and to see first-hand the therapeutic impact that equine can have on children with complex needs. I knew that Henry and Heather already had a connection to ChildVision and knowing that many friends and family members wanted to find some way to mark Jack’s love of horses in a tangible way, the Jack de Bromhead Equine Centre concept came to fruition. The response to my call for donations was unbelievably kind and generous. It’s a testament to the high regard the de Bromheads are held in, that we are in a position to make the equine centre at ChildVision in Jack’s name, a reality.”

Barry Sheridan, ChildVision CEO, commented: “We have an ambitious plan for the ChildVision campus and front and centre was trying to secure funding for an equine therapeutic centre. We had already raised over €500,000 but without this extraordinary fundraising support we would not have been in a position to break ground in 2024 on this vital facility. We would like to thank the de Bromhead family, Chris Jones and the other wonderful benefactors for enabling our dream to come true. We will ensure that Jack’s legacy and that of his loving family, who so generously agreed to share his name with us, will live on for generations to come.”

Speaking about the Honeysuckle colours to be auctioned at the Punchestown Festival, Rachael Blackmore, said: “Honeysuckle gave me some of the best days of my career – her colours hold a lot of very special memories. Zoe, Henry’s travelling head girl, always kept this one special set aside just for Honeysuckle and I wore them in all of Honeysuckle’s big days at Fairyhouse, Leopardstown, Cheltenham and Punchestown. They are going to be auctioned at the Goffs sale on day three of the Punchestown Festival, Thursday May 2 and all money raised will be donated to the operating costs of the new Jack de Bromhead Equine Centre. The donation will make a lasting difference to those children and their families who will benefit so much from the amazing work that they do at ChildVision, where hopefully many more great memories will be made.”

Garvan Hanley of Hanley Taite Design Partnership based in Virginia, County Cavan has been commissioned by ChildVision to design the new centre on the campus. The new equine centre is a contemporary, tensile fabric curved roofed building with timber and brick clad walls providing an enclosed sand arena, stables for up to 10 horses and ponies, changing facilities, offices, a viewing area/learning space and all ancillary accommodation. The building extends to 1375 sq.m. and will provide services in all weathers and on dark evenings in an environment that will offer comfort and safety to its users.

Follow ChildVision:
Instagram: @childvisionvi
Twitter: @ChildVisionVI

For further information on the Jack de Bromhead equine centre at the ChildVision campus, please contact:
Joanne Byrne, Presence PR – or 087 2494 668

For information on the Honeysuckle colours auction, please contact:
Barbara White, Horse Racing Ireland – or 087 251 1482

ChildVision’s Equine Assisted Activities (EEA) Programme is an excellent national therapeutic horse-riding programme with proven success of supporting children with physical, emotional, social and cognitive difficulties. With the help of nine fabulous horses, the team complete on average 120 interventions per week, using the horse as an unparalleled therapeutic medium. The caseload comprises of children from ChildVision who experience sight loss and complex needs, individual autistic children, children with cerebral palsy, and those with complex medical needs. EAA works on a strengths-based approach. The aim and ethos of all sessions is to work with the child’s strengths to improve upon their weaknesses. Each session is individualised and created specific to the child’s unique needs. Reported benefits of EAA include improved concentration and learning, sensory regulation, communication and social skills, tone and gross body posture etc.

The programme also supports the whole family unit. The movement method, as part of the horse boy training, looks at ways of carrying over the impact from the equine yard into the classroom and home. The EAA group run parents’ evenings throughout the school year, facilitating learning and creating an opportunity for parents to form peer support groups within a dedicated space; pivotal for supporting emotional and mental health well-being.


Final Prize fund boosted to €80,000


As the 2024 Punchestown Festival approaches the home of Irish jump racing today made the exciting announcement that are to sponsor the newly introduced Full Circle Series Final on the opening day, Tuesday 30th April.

Furthermore, the deal brings with it a boost in prize money which sees the Full Circle Series Final confirmed at an impressive €80,000. The objective behind the series was to introduce a race on the biggest stage for mid-level horses so that everyone can be part of the season grand finale at Punchestown. Since December 2023, five qualifiers were held across Ireland and a further five the length and breath of the UK in a bid to attract connections and reinvigorate the interest from across the water. The top six from each race are eligible to enter the two-and-a-half-mile hurdle final where qualifying position will be prioritised over rating for balloting.

The team at have created a ground-breaking platform that ‘empowers enthusiasts to become fully engaged stakeholders in the sport by offering access to extensive equine data, interactive trading features and a lively community’.

Looking forward to the upcoming Full Circle Series Final, Diarmuid O’Donovan, founder of said: “BloodStock is delighted to partner with Punchestown on the inaugural Full Circle Series Final. This is our first foray into race partnership and we feel the spiritual home of Irish jumps racing is a great launching point for our business.
O’Donovan continued: “The series is a brilliant initiative. It is a perfect fit for our mutually aligned values of industry sustainability, patron engagement and international growth. We’d like to thank Janet Creighton and Leona Hughes from Punchestown for their assistance in ensuring the showcase of our brand at this iconic venue”.

Punchestown’s Janet Creighton welcomed BloodStock saying: “Diarmuid and the team at BloodStock have developed this product which will allow casual fans and seasoned racegoers an opportunity to be directly involved in the game. This is where technology and the bloodstock industry meet. It is an exciting insight into the future”.

The 2024 Punchestown Festival takes place from Tuesday 30th April to Saturday 4th May. The Full Circle Series Final takes place on Tuesday 30th April. Full ticket, hospitality and event information available at

For further information please contact: