Punchestown News

Cathal Ryan Memorial Novice Hurdle


Punchestown racecourse today announced that Swordlestown Stud and the Ryan family will sponsor the Grade 1 Cathal Ryan Memorial Novice Hurdle on Friday 23rd April at the Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival. The 2 mile 4 furlong contest worth €85,000 is a fitting tribute to the late Cathal Ryan who was a great supporter of the track and of the National Hunt industry in Ireland.

Ryan, who sadly passed away following a short illness in December 2007, became involved with sponsorship at Punchestown when Swordlestown Stud first sponsored the 2m Champion Novice Chase at the 1999 Festival. The Swordlestown Cup went on to become one of the most prestigious novice steeplechases on the jump calendar during its ten years of running.

As well as co-founding the Ryanair airline, Cathal Ryan also established a successful commercial breeding operation with notable winners such as No Refuge in the National Hunt ranks and Proclamation enjoying Group successes on the flat. As a national hunt owner Ryan’s most notable success was when Cork All Star won the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the 2007 Cheltenham Festival.

Commenting on the announcement Cillian Ryan said “Swordlestown is delighted to continue the long association with our neighbours Punchestown. This will be our eleventh year to sponsor a Grade 1 at the Festival and the fact that we can now run a champion novice race in honour of my late father Cathal on Ladies Day is an added bonus”.

Notable former winners of the Grade 1 Cathal Ryan Memorial Novice Hurdle include Davenport Millenium, Mikael D’Haguenet, Tranquil Sea and Nicanor.

The Punchestown Festival takes place from Tuesday 20th to Saturday 24th April. Eleven Grade 1 races close 31st March.


For further information please visit www.punchestown.com, join us on Facebook or contact:

Shona Dreaper, PR & Communications Manager – sdreaper@punchestown.com or call +353 45 897704.

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