HRI Go Racing Education Day aims to build ties between racecourses and their
local community. It also aims to encourage an affinity with racing by educating
children about the opportunities that are available working within the horse
racing business, and what the industry offers while also hopefully
producing future racegoers.
Today's event at Leopardstown saw 275 children from local schools from the
South Dublin area including Hollypark Boys National School, St Fiachra's
Senior National School, St Brigid's Boys National School and
Holy Trinity National School. There were a series of stations, featuring a
range of different professionals from within the industry such
as racehorse Trainer Denis
Hogan and National Hunt Jockey Denis O'Regan.After teaching the
school children about the horse racing industry in the morning, both Hogan and
O'Regan went on to ride winners at the final National Hunt meeting of the
season at Leopardstown later in the day.
The event also featured Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Chief Medical Officer, Dr.
Jennifer Pugh, The Irish National Stud, Jockey's
Valet Liam Cleary, Leopardstown Racecourse Operations Manager David
Attwood, Sponsorship & Marketing Manager Joe Hennessy, a horse
racing simulator from R.A.C.E.
(Racing Academy & Centre of Education) and the Front Runner Kids Racing Club
(with racing games, puzzles and quizzes).
The day also coincided with the final National Hunt meeting of the year on the
South Dublin racecourse. Speaking after the event, Leopardstown CEO Pat Keogh
"It's been an
incredibly successful National Hunt season here at Leopardstown with the annual
Leopardstown Christmas Festival continuing to be a firm favourite and only in
it's second year, Dublin Racing Festival has firmly established itself on
the National Hunt calendar. A day like today is a great opportunity to
showcase the industry to the next generation and it was great to have so many
children from our local schools in attendance. Who knows, the next Davy
Russell, Rachael Blackmore, Gordon Elliott or Michael O'Leary might be amongst
the school children here today!"
St. Fiachra's 5th class teacher Aidan Campbell commented: "The HRI Go Racing Kids Day gave my pupils
a unique and invaluable insight into the life of a jockey, racecourse manager,
racecourse doctor and many other people working with horses. The facilitators
during the day were very knowledgeable and helped to further enhance the
pupils' learning. "
Fiona Griffin, Principal of St. Brigid's B.N.S. commented: "The boys, the
teachers and the parent volunteers arrived back full of praise for the event.
They were extremely impressed with how well run it was, how good the team were
at engaging with the children, the area and the proximity to the races. We
had a wonderful day, we would love to return again next year."