JOCKEYS, both flat and National Hunt, feature as sponsors of many of the races taking place today and tomorrow during the Champions Weekend of horse and pony racing at Moira.

The fourth race today, an open horse contest over a mile which has been divided, is being sponsored by Dylan Browne McMonagle and his father John, while the concluding open horse race over one and a half miles is being supported by jockeys Aidan Coleman and Davy Russell plus Ciaran Fennessy and Kevin O’Ryan.

Danny Mullins features as one of the sponsors of race six, an open horse six-furlong sprint on tomorrow’s card and jockey Keith Donoghue is co-sponsor of the 15hh pony race which rounds off the weekend’s action, along with trainers Henry de Bromhead and Mick Halford.

Other weekend sponsors who are well-known among readers of these pages include Dennison Commercials, Connolly’s Red Mills, Cullen Equine Solutions, Old Mill Saddlery and Philip White Tyres.

Racing today commences at 2pm while there is an earlier start time of 12.30pm for tomorrow’s action.

Dynamic Downpatrick

FURTHER details have emerged of ‘Probably The Best Family Fun Raceday Anywhere!’ at Downpatrick Racecourse on Wednesday July 13th.

The gates open at 12.30pmwhen one child or two, accompanied by an adult paying the £10 entry, will be entitled to free admission and, while stocks last, will be given a free goodie bag, free ice cream and a free soft drink.

Energy levels among adults and children alike will need to be high as there will be more than 20 attractions including including a Trek Roaring Stomping Dino, Children’s Entertainment Zone, On Track Zorbing (until 2.30pm), the Northern Ireland School of Falconry, Children’s Disco Dancing & Talent Competition, a Horse Education Centre, Walk On Aplaca, an animal farm and a dog agility display.

Pre-book a £20 family admission ticket online up to 5pm on Friday next, July 8th, and then be in with a chance of winning a £200 holiday voucher from Hannon Travel (

Also on the website is a poster which children can download, colour in and bring to the indoor activities zone at the meeting to enter an art competition.

It’s all go at Barberstown Castle

RAPHOE’s Amanda Torrens, who owns racehorses and show horses, is becoming better known among the racing fraternity these days as a sponsor through her Barberstown Castle Hotel and the Barberstown Castle Series which covers both flat and National Hunt racing.

The latest leg of the series, the Barberstown Castle Irish EBF Median Auction Maiden, was staged last Sunday at the Curragh where the one-mile contest was won by the Willie McCreery-trained Self Belief who brought up a weekend four-timer for jockey Billy Lee.

This week it was announced that Barberstown Castle is sponsoring a ladies’ best dressed competition at the Curragh on Juddmonte Irish Oaks Day, Saturday, July 16th. Details can be found on Parrot Mouth (p 13).

Passing of Ann Ferris

IT was with much sadness that we learned late last week of the death of one of Ireland’s greatest horsewomen, Ann Ferris. An appreciation appears on page 17.