Navan Dog Track, or more accurately, The Boyne Valley Greyhound Racing Company, opened officially in June 1950. The Meath Chronicle tells us that nearly 1000 enthusiasts patronised the first night in ideal weather. It was located on the Trim Rd. where Lidl is found today, and operated here for just under half a century.
Above is an aerial view of the Navan Dog Track on the Trim Rd. with the stand on the right and Beaufort College in the centre background. The track was maintained by Mick McCormack and Nicky Connor in the early decades.
The Boyne Valley Greyhound Racing Track was opened by Senator P. Fitzsimons, Chairman of Meath Co.Co. who was introduced by Mr. Johnny Cantwell one of the directors.
The winners on that first night were Flashlight Freddie (3-1) 20.52 ; Just a Dog (1-1) 30.65; Trial Times (6-1) 21.65; Baytown Apple(4-1) 30.70; Sky Goal (4-1) 19.81; Few Words (1-1) 31-24; Silver Abbey (6-1) 32.00.
(Above) Boyne Valley Coursing Club Hanlonstown 1940s.
Many of the group in both these photographs from the 1940s were involved with the Greyhound Racing Track in Navan.
Front Row (l-r): Tommy Loughran, Frank Loughran, Johnny Cantwell, Pat Loughran, Frank Loughran Jr., Christy Coogan, Phil Cuffe, -McConnell (Parnell Pk), Tom McGovern.
Back Row (l-r): Paddy Sherlock, Nicky Cantwell, -------, ---(hat)----, Andy Giles, Georgie Flood, -------, Pat McLaughlin (hat), Paddy Leech, ----------, Billy Eggleston, Joe Flynn (cap), --------, Pat Seery (hat) Billy McGrath, ---------.
(Above) Back (l-r): Jack (Bex) Cregan, Mannix Harte, Paddy McLarney, Jim Eggleson, Mattie Casey, Christy Coogan, Paddy Leech, George Flood, Johnny Cantwell, Billy Fitzsimons.
Front (l-r): Mickey Rogers, Pa Rowe, Pat Loughran, George Finnegan, Michael Rourke, Nicky Cantwell.
(Above) - an early race card dating from 1954.
(Above) An early aerial view of Navan Dog Track.
Note the track surface compared with the picture at top of the page. The line of the disused railway line cuts a diagonal across the photo.
(above) From the Meath Chronicle 19 June 1971
The biggest annual event in the racing calendar in Navan was the Irish Cesarewitch, run over 600yds, which was held in July.
(Above) Race card for the 25th Irish Cesarewitch Final & Johnny Cantwell Memorial Trophy 24 July 1985 -results and time shown at bottom of card.
(Above) L-R J. McGuierin, Stan Maguire, Paddy Byrne, Thos. Reilly, Tommy Barry, Ritchie Brennan and Paddy Glennon. (1986)
(Above ) Irish Cesarewitch Final and Johnny Cantwell Memorial Cup 1978
John Cantwell presents the Johnny Cantwell Memorial Cup to Mrs McCartan whose Gullion Lad won the final in 33.76. (l-r ): -----, James McCartan, Mrs McCartan, John Cantwell, Padraig Monaghan, Willie Cantwell (Manager Boyne Greyhound Racing Track) and Davy Casserley with Gullion Lad.
(Above) Race card for the Navan Track Bookmakers Irish Cesarewitch Final 4 July 1991 - results and time shown at bottom of card.
(Above) Race Cards from 1984 and 1986 for the Paddy Barry Memorial Cup run over 550 yds.
The Track Records for Boyne Valley Greyhound Racing Company are:
350 yds (23rd July 1987 ) Prince Pal 18.72
525 yds (28th July 1994) City Swift 28.82
550 yds (15th July 1993) Blackwater Lady 30.20
600 yds (1st July 1993) Ratify 32.68
850 yds (15th July 1993) Parkland Darkie 48.68.
(Above) Committee Boyne Valley Greygound Racing Track June 1992. (Photo The Weekender)
(left) Paddy Barry -
Manager of the Navan Track
Paddy recalled the Cesarewitch nights
as being "always special" - and remembered
some great winners over the years, like
Ratify, Rita's Choice and Debbycot Lad.
The "glory days" of dog racing in Navan were the 1960s and '70s, but from the mid 1980s into the 1990s dwindling attendances and fewer greyhounds forced the Boyne Valley Greyhound Track to close in 1999.
Navan Greyhound Track - around the time of its closure in 1999. (Photo Frank Loughran)
Navan Dog Track c. 1999 (Photo courtesy of Frank Loughran)
Boyne Valley Greyhound Track - looking towards the Tote and Stand (c.1999)
Photo Frank Loughran
(Above) George Grey Racing Manager at Navan Track photographed in 1998.
(photo The Weekender)
(Above) The sorry state of the stand and tote in the old Dog Track in the years following its closure.
(Photo County Meath Library Sercices)