Quirky Laytown Annual Meeting Could Be No More

Laytown beach is home to one of the quirkiest race days in Ireland but this seasons annual meeting could be the last year that any horse racing takes place there.

This comes after a recent accident between a racer and a car, with the locals of the beach now wanting to bring racing to a close on the strip of the beach and have voted in favour of a total ban which for some trainers could destroy their respective careers.

The prestigious and famous strip of sand that is raced on by the flat horses has now played host to race meetings for over 150 years and if banned would see the end of an era in racing and crucially destroy the livelihoods of some people in the sport.

One trainer that could be hugely effected is Damian English, who always throws up a decent team of runners when there are meetings at this track and is very much worried about the situation of the motion is passed by Meath County Council.

(Credit Racing Post) The trainer said: "I had a good meeting on Tuesday morning with my local representative Paddy Meade and he’s fighting for horses, cars and dogs to remain on the beach.

"I’m very worried and would urge as many people from the racing industry as possible to come along to the meeting about the proposal in Bettystown on Thursday evening."

The trainer added why this motion has all come about and added: "It all stems from an accident here recently, which involved a sulky horse and a car.

"The person involved in that incident is not a regular on the beach and I don’t think a one-off situation like that should have implications on someone like myself, who’s never had a problem on the beach.

"I’ve managed to make a career out of the beach as it helps rejuvenate horses with problems, which have been the only ones I’ve been able to afford at the sales since starting off.

"I even remember when I was with Peter Casey, Michael O’Brien sent us a horse called Glebe Lad to walk him in the sea, and it obviously worked for him as he went on to win the Irish Grand National.

"The beach is a huge help to us and without it I don’t know if I’d be able to keep going. We’re off it by 11am and, like I said, we’ve never had a problem with anyone."

Thankfully this seasons annual meeting looks like it will go ahead as planned but manager Kevin Coleman hopes that trainers will be able to come back here in the future and the ban never comes into affect.

He said: s far as we’re concerned this won’t have any impact on the races, but the beach is a natural training area and it would be a terrible shame if that was lost."

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