Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) will distribute 35,000 racing vouchers at students' Freshers Week events at 33 colleges and universities across the country this September and October. The vouchers allow a free race-day admission for students at any one of 16 race days between September 30th and December 29th.
Michael O'Rourke, Director of Communications in HRI said: "Our Strategic Marketing Group Report looked for further engagement with third-level students as the race-goers and owners of the future. The racecourses have responded magnificently and this Freshers week initiative puts racing in front of a large potential audience. We also welcome new initiatives such as the Trinity College Racing Club and the dedicated student race-date for Leopardstown in 2012."
The next student event in Ireland is the Sligo Racecourse students' day on Wednesday 28th September, aimed principally at Sligo IT students, offering transport, admission and a €5 euro bet along with competitions and entertainment options for €10.
Limerick Racecourse has a long-established student race-day which attracted over 9,000 students in April this year. Cork Racecourse ran a student day for the first time this year and 2,000 students attended from CIT & UCC along with the YITBA.
Leopardstown racecourse has created a new mid-week fixture on Wednesday 28th March 2012 which will be a dedicated student race-day for the greater Dublin area.
Mark Kelly from Cork Racecourse said: - "The student race evening in 2011 proved to be a great way of encouraging young people to enjoy racing as many of the students who attended returned for the Easter Festival and other meetings. We will build on that success with our 2012 student day''.
Russell Ferris, Manager of Limerick Racecourse said:- "The Student Race day has been an integral fixture in our racing calendar over the past number of years. The atmosphere the students generate is electric. I have never before heard a crowd cheering from when the horses leave the stalls to when they are crossing the finishing line. Planning for the 2012 student race day is underway and we can promise it will eclipse all previous events".
The 2012 official Student race dates are:
• Cork - Thursday 22nd March
• Leopardstown - Wednesday 28th March
• Limerick - Thursday 29th of March