Style stakes and charity race back on the cards at Punchestown 2022
The Punchestown Festival returns with a bang from Tuesday 26th to Saturday 30th April and the wait will be well worth it as the thrill of racing will combine seamlessly with fashion and style.
With Covid restrictions in place last year, the return of crowds and atmosphere will make this year's event even more memorable than usual.
The opportunity to embrace style and fashion is sure to grasped by everyone who missed out last year.
The crowds undoubtedly make Punchestown and this iconic, award-winning sporting occasion is renowned for its wonderful friendly welcome and vibrant atmosphere. Combine this with live music, Osprey Avenue Shopping, sophisticated style, street theatre and that buzzing social scene that we have all missed so much.
This year's Punchestown Festival will see Rachael Blackmore receive a hero's welcome following her spectacular success on the track over the last couple of years.
The 2021 Aintree Grand National and Cheltenham Champion Hurdle-winning jockey will certainly be treated to the Punchestown roar, especially when she takes to the track aboard Honeysuckle in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.
She won the race last year to a wall of silence due to Covid restrictions on crowds but she will get many of the plaudits this time around. Punters will be able to savour top class grade 1 action every day with the likes of Honeysuckle,Klassical Dream, Vauban and Minella Indo lining up. From the racing paddock to the best-dressed podium, this year's big comeback Punchestown festival has it all - on and off the track.
The prestigious Bollinger Best Dressed Competition will run each day from Festival Tuesday, April 26 to the grand final on Ladies Day, Friday, April 29. The all-expenses-paid trip to the Home of Bollinger in the champagne region along with overnight in Paris, the city of romance, is the coveted money cannot buy prize. The format has been tried and tested and a number of finalists will be chosen by our style scouts each day. The daily winner then progresses to the style final on Festival Friday, April 29. Of course, daily finalists will receive a lovely goodie bag.
Kate McNally winner of the Bollinger Best Dressed is now on The Style Council 2022
The festival will also host the 31st running of the Annual Charity Race on Saturday 30th April in aid of the Punchestown Kidney Research Fund. (P.K.R.F.).
This fantastic fundraising initiative has stood the test of time and remains as popular as ever with applications oversubscribed each year. This year was particularly challenging with a much reduced preparation time but a huge effort by organisers and participants saw the plan come to fruition. The race involves 25 ‘amateur’ riders, battling it out over one mile and seven furlongs around the famous Punchestown course. Each rider must raise €1,500 for the P.K.R.F. and pass an assessment in order to participate.
In 2022, the PKRF is looking forward to partnering with the Irish Kidney Association to set up a Pilot Peer Support Program to help kidney patients and their families who are starting out on the road to dialysis or looking at the possibility of a life-saving kidney transplant. This support network will enable people to reach out and connect with a trained volunteer to discuss their concerns about dialysis and transplantation.
Kilcullen Butcher, James Nolan initiated both the charity and the race having received the GIFT OF LIFE when his sister Catherine Doyle donated one of her kidneys to him on the 25th July 1987. He has ridden in the race himself 13 times and won it on 50 to 1 shot Nero’s Dancer in 2002, an experience he describes as one of the highlights of his life.
The Punchestown Kidney Research Fund Charity Race was founded in 1990 and has raised €1.6 million to date.
Punchestown Sponsorship Coordinator Leona Hughes will take part in the 2022 Punchetsown Kidney Research Fund Charity race
Leona Hughes, Punchestown Sponsorship coordinator explains why she is taking part in this year’s race: “Whatever about challenging yourself I think this race makes you consider how lucky we are to be in a position to choose. There are plenty of people who would love to take part in something like this but unfortunately cannot due to illness.
"I hope we raise plenty of money for James and his team because the work they do is amazing. The atmosphere is always brilliant and we feel it is the most important race of the entire festival because it makes such a difference to so many lives”.
The Punchestown Festival runs from Tuesday 26th to Saturday 30th April 2022.
Tickets from just €30pp. Senior, student and teen discount tickets available on the day at the designated turnstile. Visit www.punchestown.com or call 045 897704 for more.
Coach transfers from Dublin city centre with marathoncoaches.ie and regular shuttles from Naas town to the track and back on each of the five days.
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