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Located on the western border of Dublin, Co. Kildare is known as the home of the horse and is a renowned centre for horse breeding and horse racing.
Kildare is a fertile county of green pastures and open grasslands, named the Shortgrass County situated on the edge Ireland's central plain. The county town is Naas, which in Irish translates to meeting place of Kings.
And it is the sport of kings that Kildare is most well known for. Kildare is the Irish Horse racing centre, home to its main courses at the Curragh and Punchestown, which hold the most important events in the Irish Horse Racing calendar, including the Irish Derby in June.
Kildare is also home to the Irish National Stud, just outside Kildare town. This 387-hectare site has been breeding and developing some of the finest stock in Irish horse racing since it was established in 1900 by Colonel William Hall-Walker, owner of Johnnie Walker whiskey. Beside the National Stud, Hall-Walker created the stunning Japanese Gardens. Today both have become fascinating and hugely popular visitor attractions.
Over the last 20 years the population of East Kildare, has increased six fold, as parts of the county evolve into suburbs of Dublin.
Famous names from Kildare include, Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, born at Kilkea Castle, St Brigid one of Ireland's patron saints, singer Christy Moore and Shergar.