Ballybrit festival organisers unveil new Galway Plate

Thu, Jul 12, 2012, 01:00

The chairman of the Galway Races has said it was testimony to the stature of the annual summer festival that sponsors had been found for all 52 races.

Tim Naughton said the Ballybrit festival was not just part of life in Galway since 1869, but was an annual pilgrimage for thousands around Ireland and beyond – more than 150,000 are expected over the seven days.

It has a prize fund of €1.6 million, making it one of the biggest racing festivals in the world. Details of this year’s meet were announced in Galway yesterday where a new Galway Plate was unveiled.

The sponsors of the race, Tote Ireland, commissioned a new trophy, which will be designed by Matthew Lynch from Dublin, an industrial design student at the National College of Art and Design. The original trophy, known as the Galway Salver, dates from 1741, and is housed in the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks in its silver collection.

The Galway Races will start on July 30th. This year, in a gesture towards the economic climate, there will be free admission for those under 16 if accompanied by an adult.