NEWS reaches us of a black-tie ball with a strong racing connection taking place next month and already 200 tickets have been sold.

It’s taking place in The County Arms Hotel in Birr, Co Offaly, on Saturday, February 18th, and it’s in aid of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute.

Tickets are only €100 each and that covers a four-course meal, champagne reception, music and plenty of laughs from MC Deirdre O’Kane.

It’s all been organised by Jessica Cahalan, racing secretary to Denis Hogan and newly-appointed manager of Laytown Racecourse. Jessica is also well-known for her association with the Ormond Hunt and top-class sprinter Gordon Lord Byron, who she bought as a foal and who raced for her family.

Asked why she put the Breast Cancer Research Ball together, Jessica said: “At this time last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer but it was caught early and I made a full recovery. I’m the third person in my immediate family to have been treated for cancer and we all received amazing care. I just want to give something back.”

The County Arms Hotel is the main sponsor of the event and Jessica promises the meal will be “fabulous”. There will also be a fundraising raffle on the night in which all the prizes will be worth a minimum of €100.

Sounds like it will be a great night, so move fast to secure your seats.

Tel: 086 374 8985