Dog-racing at Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium


Greyhound racings are very old and once they were done as the today known 'Coursings' - a few dogs running after a hare, alive. The greyhound racings as known today were born in America when in 1912 the American Owen Patrick Smith was inventing the 'false hare'. On 18th April 1927 the first racing ground for dogs was opened in Belfast: Celtic Park. Only one month later the Shelbourne Park in Dublin was opened. They were followed by another in Dublin and Belfast and soon one in Cork. Once a sport of aristocratic with money now everyone could live this sport in an official way. The Irish Coursing Club took over the organization and control of it and shortly after publicized the Irish Greyhound Stud Book.

1958 the Bord nag Con was founded who was taking over the organization, promotion and control of the racings in Ireland in over 17 racing stadiums. The ICC is still controlling three racing places in Northern Ireland.

It is a very popular sport in Ireland and very high rated. Trainer, owner, stadiums and much more earn a lot of money with it.

The 'Racing' is done in a stadium and the dogs are running after a 'false hare'. In the 'Coursing' they use a hare alive. Here are two dogs and a hare that has half a field of advantage. In this case the intelligence, quickness and agility are judged. The hare will NOT be killed.

In both the racings the dogs have a muzzle and numbers on their back.





What to see  

The Stadium has an own parking place (200 cars) which easily is full especially at the week-end and one has to find a free parking lot in the surrounding streets ( don't forget a parking coupon, 2 hours at least). The stadium has a big entrance where to pay the entrance fee and getting a brochure with the single courses and the dogs names, statistics and so on. The following hall has lots of monitors to show the courses live. On the left one can pass in a corridor straight out to the course field or upstairs into the restaurant. Here are many places where to sit, positioned like in a theater to see well outside the big windows. On the outer tribune there are only places to stay, nothing to sit.

The course is half round and the back part is nearly invisible because the dogs are very low when running and nearly as low as the fence. The start is exactly in front of the visitor tribune. There are three 6-boxes which will 'roll' on the field for loading the dogs and 'disappear' immediately after letting them out.

The dogs mainly run one and a half round and stop where barely one can see them.

The 'false hare' is running on the outer side of the field.

The dogs go around on the middle field before the racing just for a few minutes and then passed on a kind of tribune in front of the visitor tribune to be shown on which one the gamblers put all their money.

After that dogs and trainers go to the boxes and put the dogs in, more pulling them. The boxes are closed from behind and in the moment the 'false hare' is passing they open in front and the dogs are 'shooting' out of them with an incredibly high speed.

For stopping the dogs from running the hare is simply stopped. But the dogs don't seem to be very interested in it.


By bus from O'Connell Street take no. 2 or 3 to just in front of Shelbourne Park. The racing course is less than 5 walking minutes from Grand Canal Dock Station. Who wants to go by car gives the following address in the navigation system: South Lotts Road, Dublin 4. It's only a few driving minutes from the heart of Dublin.

Opening hours   Every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at 6.30 p.m.
Visiting time  

There are twelve races in an evening which will take place in two and a half hours.

Entrance fee   

10.- , one gets a brochure with all the courses and the dogs names to know on which one to bet. Here one can find further information

Our opinion  

Who likes gambling will have a lot of fun. Every 15 minutes there is a course. For many people going to a dog racing it is like to go to a horse racing and the women are well dressed. Who doesn't like gambling and hopes to see something interesting will be disappointed - every race is over within seconds. And that's it.


Winner or looser?

Showing the racing dogs

Dogs going in the boxes at Shelbourne Park

Dogs racing start at Shelbourne Park

Visitor tribune at Shelbourne Park


Last updated: 2013 Print out page!