CORK man Joe Ahern is turning 85 this year and still goes racing and had a great day out at Downpatrick last weekend. He was born near Mallow and qualified in dairy science and worked as a creamery manager. He went to live in Cahir in 1958 where he and his wife Maureen ran a gift shop. the Crock of Gold, near Cahir Castle, for 21 years.

Busy time

“It was a very busy time in our lives and my wife would take some time off and I would take some time off and go racing. I used to drive up to the two northern racecourses and all over the country but in later years I have taken buses and trains.”

Joe has been to every track in the country except Laytown but more to follow on that. Did he ever own a racehorse or a leg or a hoof in a syndicate? “No, but when I was young I had a great pony and I used to hunt with the Duhallows around Mallow and the pony always kept me up at the front of the field near the master and hounds.


“My favourite tracks are Ballinrobe and Downpatrick. I would have to say because of the atmosphere.”

The Ulster National at Downpatrick was sponsored by Randox and Nicola FitzGerald of Randox had Joe at her table for lunch.

Joe can’t hang up his boots yet as one of racing’s keenest fans as Leo Powell, editor of The Irish Field, and Nicola FitzGerald are going to make sure he goes to Laytown on September 8th.

G’wan Joe. Racing needs more like you.

Fantastic fundraiser at

Downpatrick for Ukraine

FOLLOWING a very successful running of the 2022 Randox Ulster National with a huge attendance, Downpatrick Racecourse hosted a fantastic auction after racing which raised £18,600 for the Irish Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal.

Fabulous prizes

The racecourse also pledged to match the total amount – so, with additional donations the final figure of almost £40,000 will be presented to the fund. The racecourse management extends sincere thanks to all those who bid so generously and also to those who donated the fabulous array of prizes including: hospitality tables at Annfield (Liverpool v Manchester United), Punchestown Festival and Sandown (Tingle Creek) tickets, mornings on the gallops with Joseph O’Brien, Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott.

A private tour of Coolmore and Ballydoyle, a visit to Irish Olympian Cian O’Coonor’s Karlswood Stables, a Randox Signature Health Test, an iPhone 13, holiday trips to India and Donegal, bales and bags from Kingsfield Haylage and Herron Horse Feeds, Kicking King shoes, and various paintings were other choice lots.