Some 200 boys, many joined by their parents, attended the Curragh last Sunday (19th April), when Ireland’s premier racecourse staged a race to celebrate the bicentenary of Ireland’s premier boarding school. The sun shone to make the occasion perfect and many Old Clongownians made their way to Kildare to enjoy the day. A complimentary coach service for all CWC students and free admission for them and for all Under 16s ensured a great turnout.
One of the most celebrated OCs present was Willie Robinson (OC 1952), one of the greatest jockeys of all time and also a successful trainer and horse breeder. He was thrilled to see the Clongowes colours, sponsored by leading trainer John Oxx (OC 1968), carried in the Clongowes Wood College SJ Bicentenary Race by the Jim Bolger-trained Gold Focus. The Clongowes Wood College Syndicate was registered as the owner, but there was no fairytale finish, although Gold Focus ran well.
The Horseshoe Restaurant was available exclusively for use by Clongowes students, parents, past pupils and friends and each received complimentary food and beverage. Special guests from the world of racing were on hand to give talks to the group throughout the afternoon. The Headmaster Fr Moloney presented the winning trophies, donated by Coolmore Stud, and many of the boys present participated in activities, including judging the best turned-out horses in a number of races.