Day At The Track

Irish harness racing generation game

02:20 AM 15 Aug 2014 NZST
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Brickley family
Three Generations of the Brickley family in action at Ballabuidhe harness Racing Festival 2014. Back, Ciaran Finbarr and David Front, Finn and Shelley
History was made on a couple of fronts at the annual three day Harness Racing Festival in Ballabuidhe, Dunmanway over the August Bank Holiday weekend and the Brickley family from Baltimore were central to all of the historical moments.

Three generations of a family steeped in harness racing in West Cork, Ireland were active participants over the weekend and their Ringo Star, a homebred, was the winner of the Murphys/Western Beverages Grand Prix, the highlight of this annual festival.

Ringo Star, a heat and final winner, was driven to victory in both races by Ciaran Brickley and his brother David drove Ringo Kid to victory in another heat of the Grand Prix .

Their father, Finbarr Brickley, owns Ringo Star and is part owner of the horse with his son David's wife Jennie. All getting confused but Finbarr's granddaughter Shelley is also involved in racing.

2014 has seen a new crop of young riders plying their trade in saddle racing for pacers which up to recently was unique to West Cork and Shelley has followed in the footsteps of her father David and grandfather Finbarr to cement her place as one of the most capable on the circuit.

Not to be out done her brother Finn (only eight years old) paraded in full regalia on his horse Bob before the bumper crowd.

Ringo Star gave the family their first Grand Prix winner after forty years in the sport and Finbarr said "long time coming but worth the wait".

One final piece of history was made on the third day of the festival on Tuesday and how fitting that the Brickley family were again involved.

The initial staging of "Le Trot" a body backed by the French Government held a race confined to imported French trotters and Romeo Tricastin was the winner of this historic event. No prizes for guessing the winning connections as it was Ciaran and Finbar Brickley with Finbarr the winning driver.

From the picturesque training base in Reengeroiga just outside Baltimore to Ballabuidhe may only be separated by about twenty miles but this journey has taken nearly half a century to be properly completed.

"Good things come to those who wait!"

By Tim Kelleher


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