One of the highlights of summer in Galway is the Galway Races Summer Festival, attracting thousands of racegoers to Ballybrit.
The longstanding Galway Plate, raced since 1986, is the highlight of the seven-day meeting. Run over a distance of two miles six furlongs and 111 yds, there are 14 fences to jump in total. The last two fences, situated three furlongs from the finish, are the closest fences together of any racecourse in the world.
It is a race targeted by all the elite Irish National Hunt trainers, and frequently some British challengers. In 2002 the winner was Rockholm Boy, a 20-1 winner in the county colours of local owner breeder Gerry McMahon, and his two joint owners Hugh Bredin and Martin Cuddy, and trained by Limerick’s Michael Hourigan.