Festival 2016

Festival 2016

The dates for the 2016 Festival have been announced as Tuesday 26th to Saturday 30th  April.

The Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival is one of the highlights of the Irish sporting and social calendar. The special combination of thrilling sporting action, brilliant live entertainment, delicious food and drink, family fun, dazzling glamour or casual comfort and the unique Punchestown Festival atmosphere is beyond compare.. 
Racing - The Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival is considered the grande finale of the jump season with top class horses, trainers and jockeys from both sides of the Irish sea converging on the Kildare venue to settle scores and confirm reputations. The quality of racing is unrivalled with a total of 12 Grade 1 contests taking place. Punchestown is proud to be the home of Irish National Hunt Racing and host to the famous La Touche Cup, a spectators favourite run over the cross country course. It's a "must see" for any racing fan.  
Race Start Time - the following times are provisional and based on 2015.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the first race goes to post at 3.40. Gates open from 12 noon. The last race will be around 7.15pm

On Saturday, Festival Family Day, the first race is at 2.30 and the gates will open at 11.30am. Please arrive early for the complimentary childrens activities.

Live Entertainment
The entertainment package at the Festival is second to none and ensures that the famous Punchestown atmosphere greets you from the moment you enter the racecourse. The main stage is the key focus of the entertainment programme with excellent live music, children's entertainment, fashion shows and best dressed finals. As you make your way around the racecourse and through the many restaurants and bars you will come across live street theatre with jugglers, stilt walkers and mime artists. The après racing music throughout the pavilions, bars and public areas is always a crowd pleaser. You have been warned – bring your dancing shoes!

Best Dressed Ladies Competition
Glamour is an essential element of the Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival and while the racing superstars go head to head on the track, Ireland’s most stylish ladies will be going peep toe to kitten heel when competing for the most prestigious title in the racing and social calendars.

Our partner hotels includes:

Killashee - www.kilsaheehouse.com

The K Club - www.kclub.ie
Palmerstown House Estate - www.palmerstownhouse.com

Louis Fitzgerald Hotel - www.louisfitzgeraldhotel.com
Avon Ri Lakeshore Resort - www.avonri.com

Our accommodation partners offer exclusive Punchestown Packages.

Public Bars

Punchestown is renowned for its lively bar scene where racegoers can enjoy a pint of the black stuff, a sip of bubbly or something in between at one of the many bars throughout the enclosures where the brilliant atmosphere is always on tap.

Festival Shopping Village
Indulge in some retail therapy at the extensive Festival Shopping Village with over 60 exhibitors displaying everything from fine art to bespoke hats, handcrafted jewellery to garden accessories.

Dress Codes
There is no dress code at Punchestown. So dress up or dress down, it's up to you. Most people tend to embrace the opportunity to don the glad rags!


For full details on how to get to Punchestown, where to stay, what packages are available please see the Visit The Racecourse section of the site, sign up for our newsletter on the homepage or request a Visitors Guide (by email or post).

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