The 31st running of the Have the Conversation – Say Yes to Organ Donation Punchestown Charity Race took place on Saturday, April 30th.

Despite the poor weather, people stayed on in their thousands to cheer home all the jockeys and this managed to create a wonderful atmosphere and provided a fitting finale to the Festival.

Camilla Sharples on Amir Kabir won our race, edging out home favourite Leona Hughes on Barbados in a thrilling finish. Most importantly all the jockeys completed safely and enjoyed the privilege of riding at the Punchestown National Hunt Festival.

After two years with no charity race due to Covid, this was quite simply a phenomenal year for the Punchestown Kidney Research Fund. The jockeys managed to raise €93,576.55 from the race which is a record.

On top of that, Leinster and Ireland rugby player James Tracy raised an additional €21,925.74 from his brave February Freezebury Challenge. This means that the total raised for 2022 is €115,502.29 and that puts the cumulative total raised to date at €1,702,677.29, which is absolutely incredible.

Projects funded

During the past year we managed to support the following projects:

  • We sponsored a Pilot Peer Support programme for all kidney patients in Ireland. This programme will offer vital supports to kidney patients and their families who are dealing with all the various issues and concerns that unfortunately is all part of being a dialysis or transplant patient.
  • We established the James Tracy/Kidney Beam Exercise programme for all dialysis and transplant patients, which will enable all patients to access free, online, live and on-demand exercise classes, specifically tailored to all different levels of fitness and specifically for kidney patients.
  • We continued our research into polycystic kidney disease in partnership with the Irish Nephrology Society under the guidance of the Irish Research Council.
  • We continued our support for our art therapy programmes for dialysis patients in Tallaght & Waterford dialysis units.
  • We continued our support for our sports programme for dialysis and transplant patients.
  • Organised a trip to Lourdes for one young dialysis patient and a carer.
  • So many people deserve huge thanks for making the charity race such an unbelievable success. The Punchestown Kidney Research Fund enjoys the privilege of being permitted to run our charity race during the Irish National Hunt Racing Festival at Punchestown Racecourse. Great credit is due to all the team at Punchestown Racecourse who make our raceday so special, as well as all the staff at the Turf Club who so generously volunteer their services on the day, and also the staff at Horse Racing Ireland and the Racing Academy who ensure our race is well run.

    We are very grateful to all the owners and the trainers who have given continued support to our race, every year, for the past 31 years.

    We would like to acknowledge the various forms of media, whose coverage of our race in whatever way, is hugely important, both to our charity and to all those people awaiting life-saving transplants; you all give hope to so many others by raising the profile of organ donor awareness in Ireland.

    On behalf of the charity I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Punchestown Kidney Research Fund in any small way at all, as this has helped us to support various projects which, in turn, improves the quality of life for those patients living with kidney illness and also helps us to create positive organ donor awareness in Ireland.

    I wish everyone continued good health. - Yours etc.,

    James Nolan


    Punchestown Kidney Research Fund

    Main Street,


    CHY 16613