Ngong Racecourse is a racecourse in Nairobi, Kenya. It is the main and currently only thoroughbred racing venue in Kenya. It is located along the Ngong Road near the Lenana School and next to The Nairobi Business Park, beside Ngong Road Forest. It is operated by the Jockey Club of Kenya.
The racecourse was opened 1954, when it replaced the old racecourse in Kariokor, near Nairobi CBD. Ngong Racecourse is nowadays the only racecourse in Kenyan although there were races in other towns, including Eldoret, Nakuru, Nanyuki and Limuru. The first horse racing event in Kenya took place in 1904 in Machakos with Somali ponies.
There are on average 25 race meetings annually of which the most prominent is the annual Kenya Derby, which was first held in 1914. Races are held there on alternate Sundays. Apart from horse racing, the venue has used for cross country running competitions, and it has acted as a special stage for the Safari Rally. It has also been used for Ostrich racing.
The Ngong Race Course and Golf Park is the only horse racing course in East Africa and is owned by the Jockey Club of Kenya with the focus of regulating the Sport of Horse racing in Kenya, while ensuring that it meets International standards. The Jockey Club of Kenya is the governing body of thoroughbred racing.
Ngong Racecourse is situated on Ngong Road towards Karen and has the most beautiful grounds, offering a tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi. The Racecourse is a very popular wedding destination and annually hosts many other functions such as the Christmas Craft Fair, Concours d’Elégance, Beerfest, Shaggy Dog Show, Heart to Heart Fun Day as well as hosting international artists including South African Johnny Clegg and his band. There are restaurants to cater for everyone, with adequate & secure parking, as well as wash rooms. On most race days, there will entertainment facilities for the children which include bouncing castles, face painting and or a clown.
Race days provide the perfect day out in an environment of leisure and networking opportunities. The grounds also provide a number of exciting opportunities to showcase your brand, increasing brand awareness and visibility, while entertaining your invited Corporate clients during the race meet. Apart from horse racing and golf events, we have Corporate and Social events year round that provide advertisers with exclusive access to showcase their products.
Racing proper started in Kenya around 1904 at the Kariakor area under the auspices of the East African Turf Club which was later renamed The Jockey Club of Kenya in 1921. Kenya then became the first Commonwealth country to allow Sunday racing (previously this was on Friday and Saturday only). It was around the 1950s that racing was relocated to the current Ngong Racecourse and has continued to enjoy steady growth in the industry. Racing from the Ngong Racecourse is now broadcast LIVE to South Africa with daily racing from RSA, UK, Zimbabwe, Singapore and Dubai being broadcast here as well.
- The Standard, April 3, 2009: Kenya Derby is main Jockey Club of Kenya event
- Kenyabuzz.com: A Daytrip to the Ngong Racecourse
- Webkenya.com: Nairobi City Safari Tour
- The Standard, February 21, 2009: Mission ‘beat Ethiopia’ starts
- Motorsport.com: Safari Rally Kenya 98: End of Leg 1
- Professional Travel Guide: Nairobi Calendar of Events
- Ngong Racecourse (through archive.org, from 2003)
- Jockey Club of Kenya (through archive.org, from 2004)