The grandstands of this racecourse are rather small compared to the racecourses in the U.S. that I have visited. Which is not surprising given the relatively small market of potential attendees (Limerick is not a very large city). I have never visited a racecourse in the UK, so this was a new experience for me (steeplechase, races run clockwise). Most surprising to me was the length of the races (2 and 3 miles) and the apparent age of the jockeys (looked much older than U.S. jockeys). I certainly was impressed with the jockey's skill, needing to jump over so many barriers without falling off - only saw 1 rider fall off. My impression was that these types of races are tests of endurance, not speed. The only "racing" done was a sprint after the final barrier and the finish line. By then all the horses were very tired and there were only a couple of horses with any energy left to engage in the sprint. (UK race fans - go ahead and shoot arrows at me for my novice lack of insight into the intricacies of this type of racing :-). A tip for any U.S. residents that will visit this track: take enough Euros with you because there are no ATM machines at this track. You can, however, ask for "cash back" from the restaurant if you purchase something. I'm not sure I would venture to another UK track if the opportunity arises. I guess I am spoiled with the "speed" racing that characterizes U.S. horse races.
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