The countdown to one of the most prestigious races in the Irish greyhound calendar is underway after the 2019 Irish St. Leger was launched at Limerick Greyhound Stadium. The competition has been run in Limerick since 1944 and the winner of this year’s competition will earn €30,000 for connections.
This year’s event will be sponsored by the Friends of Limerick Greyhound Stadium group who have spearheaded a funding initiative which is proving very successful. This has enabled an increase in the top prize as well as new competitions of the Leger Cup and Leger Plate.
Co-chair of the Friends of Limerick Greyhound Stadium group, Dan Flynn, commented: “The community feel here is unbelievable. The support so far has been fantastic and we’re very close to securing enough funding for both this year and next year. One of my first memories as an 8 year old was seeing our neighbours winning the 1966 Leger. The history of this competition is phenomenal and hopefully we’re going to keep that going long into the future.”
Munster and Ireland rugby legend John ‘The Bull’ Hayes, who helped launch the competition along with the group, added: “It’s a pleasure to be asked to help launch this year’s Leger. My father-in-law and my wife have a huge background in greyhounds, since I married her I’ve been part of them as well! A night at the dogs is a great night out and people really look forward to it. Events like this really allow you to meet people and get behind something positive.”
Chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board, Frank Nyhan, said: “Events like these are showing there are green shoots in the Irish greyhound industry. People in Limerick are very enthusiastic about their racing and the Leger in particular holds a special place in the calendar. It’s going from strength to strength, with this year’s €30,000 winning prize meaning the very best dogs in the country will be at Limerick Greyhound Stadium throughout the competition.”
Irish St. Leger entries are being accepted by the Limerick Racing Office until Monday 28th October at 12 noon.
The Irish St. Leger competition will begin on Saturday 2nd November at Limerick Greyhound Stadium and will run for four consecutive weeks, culminating in the event’s final being held on Saturday 23rd November.