Leopardstown Christmas Festival
One of the social higlights of the Dublin winter season, national hunt racing at Leopardstown kicks off on St Stephen's Day (26 December). All the finest national hunt horses have raced at Leopardstown, and visitors can enjoy the democratic atmosphere and mingle together in a single enclosure.
The four-day festival is based on four main events: the Durkan New Homes Chase, the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase, the Lexus Chase and the December Festival Hurdle. Winter racing is the perfect antidote to Christmas over-indulgence, attracting both passionate racing cognoscenti and the finest jockeys, who are competing for a prize pot of over a million euros.
As many as 65,000 racegoers enjoy the journey to Leopardstown racecourse, and as well as the equestrian delights, enjoy the winter hospitality - mulled wines and warming foods provde effective insulation against winter weather. Expert tipsters are also on hand to mark your racecards - another Leopardstown speciality!
Leopardstown Racecourse was opened in 1888, and modelled on Sandown in England. Situated in the heart of the Dublin suburbs, Leopardstown is one of Europe's premier racecourses, hosting such equine legends as Istabraq, Giant's Causeway, Sinndar and Florida Pearl. It has always been a particular favourite with the Irish racing public.