Captain Lawrence Oates Antarctic Explorer and Gentleman Jockey at Punchestown

Posted: 24th May 2021

Punchestown hosted none other than Captain Lawrence Oates as owner, trainer and jockey at the 1904 and 1905 meetings.

Captain Oates is remembered as a member of Scott of the Antarctic’s polar party which reached the South Pole in January 1912. On the return journey, Oates, who was suffering from a recurring leg injury, felt he was hampering his comrade’s progress. In a supreme act of self sacrifice, he walked from the tent into an Antarctic blizzard....and his certain death. His departing words were “I am just going outside and may be some time”.

In 1904, having ridden his horse ‘Titus’ to third in the Punchestown Grand Military Cup, he declared  "I do not think I have enjoyed two days better for a long time than I did at Punchestown”.

County Kildare is home to the in Athy.