• Guiseppe Orlandi - ICW Intern

    From an early age it was evident that I had an interest for all things equine-related however it wasn’t until one day I attended the sales at Goffs with my Dad and brother that I knew the thoroughbred industry was where my real passion was. I have just completed a four year degree in UCD in Commerce and Chinese and therefore felt the HRI Internship was the ideal stepping stone for me.

    Being selected as the Longines Irish Champions Weekend intern has allowed me to combine my knowledge of the industry with what I’ve learned throughout my college days. It is a wonderful opportunity and an eye opener to see what it takes to organise and collaborate with various stakeholders in order to plan and execute a weekend of premium Flat racing. The marketing team led by Michael O’Rourke welcomed me from day one. Jane Davis the Racecourse Marketing Support Manager is the project manager for Longines Irish Champions Weekend and is who I report directly to. Jane works tirelessly liaising with official sponsors, racecourses and everyone in between in ensuring that Ireland’s premium Flat racing event will run according to plan.  

    My roles in the office vary from website maintenance to organising promotional events along with increasing our awareness on all social media platforms. However a great thing is that it’s not all office based, the role requires me to work off site too. These off site days vary from attending various photoshoots to utilise for publications, volunteering for the Irish Injured Jockeys, assisting at our 2016 launch event or to working at our Longines Irish Champions Weekend stand at the Dubai Duty Free Derby festival at the Curragh.

    Just two weeks ago we held our 2016 launch evening in O’Reilly Hall UCD where the room was full of my racing heroes. I was rubbing shoulders with the who’s who of not just the racing world but also the sporting world with the likes of Aidan O’Brien, Ronan O’Gara, Willie Mullins and Sean O’Brien present. It was fantastic evening lead by the panel consisting of jockey Chris Hayes, trainer Johnny Murtagh and rugby legend and Longines Irish Champions Weekend Sport Ambassador Ronan O’Gara discussing what’s required to excel and become a champion in any discipline. It wasn’t all serious chat with Ronan O’Gara telling us some humorous stories of life in France.

    It’s not all just Longines Irish Champions Weekend for me, there are always plenty of tasks to be done in the marketing and communication department. I assist fellow intern Hannah Berry in the production and distribution of weekly newsletters by carrying out weekly interviews with a range of industry figures. I’ve had the lucky chance to interview the likes of Robbie McNamara, Andy Slattery and Ana O’Brien. I really enjoy this aspect of the role as I get to engage with the people who help make this industry what it is. I also assist our Content Editor Shane Redmond in producing the weekly “News and Reviews”, a racing column that’s published in regional newspapers all around the country.

    We’ve also had fascinating trips organised by Sophie O’Hare and Claire Rushe which included days out to Darley’s Irish breeding operation Kildangan Stud, the ITBA, the Irish National Stud and to the final Bulmers Live event at Leopardstown racecourse.

    I’m delighted I decided to apply for the HRI internship and am grateful to HRI for offering me the opportunity to learn more about an ever changing industry. I’ve personally improved my overall skillset but have also met some great people on a really friendly team. I’ve learned the greater impact HRI has on Irish racing through its subsidiaries, Tote Ireland, HRI racecourses and particularly Irish Thoroughbred Marketing (ITM) who promote Irish bloodstock on a global scale. For now I look forward to enjoying my final few weeks here in HRI but also to attending one of European racing’s marquee meetings, Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh.

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