Lester Piggott cut the ribbon on the new entrance building to the Tipperary Racecourse last week, and the guest of honour spent time meeting fans, signing autographs and posing for pics with them too, in waht was hailed ‘an incredible occasion’ by Tipperary Racecourse manager Jane Davis.
As well as a new entrance building, the redevelopment also comprises a secretary’s office and a pre-parade ring facility in addition to the already completed American-style barn with 42 stables. Further developments are planned over the summer months.
The launch celebrations coincided with Tipperary’s Point-to-Point race evening, featuring a competitive seven-race National Hunt card. Nina Carberry returned to the saddle following a broken collar bone and was just beaten in the final contest, the P2P.ie Point-to-Point bumper, by the Willie Mullins-trained Unic De Bersy, ridden by his son Patrick.
The cork based trainer Terrance O’Brien had the first two home in the Rathbarry and Glenview Stud Novice Hunters Chase.
The Henry De Bromhead-trained Sizing Rio was an impressive winner on his highly anticipated debut over fences in the Kedrah House Stud ‘Well Chosen’ Beginners Chase.
“It was an incredible occasion and we are very grateful to everybody who came out to show their support,” said Ms Davis.
“There was a great sense of community spirit and it was fantastic to see Lester Piggott at Tipperary Races, he was a true gentleman and spent a lot of time signing autographs and posing for pictures with race goers.”
After the third race Mr Piggott was joined by the chairman of Tipperary Racecourse, Tim Hyde, the newly appointed chairman of Horse Racing Ireland, Joe Keeling and members of the Racecourse Committee at the new entrance building to cut the ribbon on the new development.
Also in attendance were RTE television presenter Tracy Piggott, JP McManus, Horse Racing Ireland chief executive Brian Kavanagh, local politicians Tom Hayes, John Crosse and Michael Lowry, Pride of Tipperary Aoife O’Meara and past Tipperary Racecourse Managers, Tom Burke, Peter Roe and Nessa Joyce.