• Keith Walsh - HRI Marketing Intern

    My interest in racing grew when I began working at Tipperary Racecourse in June 2017. Before then I never really had an interest in the sport, mainly due to a lack of understanding of how the sport worked.

    My job at Tipperary entailed graphic design for their marketing and digital content. Working with Robert, Andrew, Perry and the team really propelled my interest in the industry and was one of the motivating factors in going for the Horse Racing Ireland Internship.

    I am currently in my third year of college in Limerick Institute of Technology studying Interactive Digital Media, with six months of work placement involved, so it was a no brainer to try gain some more valuable experience in the racing industry.

    My placement was split into two sections, three months based in Fairyhouse and Navan Racecourses, and three months in HRI’s head office at Ballymany.

    Getting the chance to work with the team in Fairyhouse in the lead up to the Irish Grand National was very exciting, albeit a small bit nerve wrecking, but a huge opportunity for me.

    In the lead up to the Easter Festival I attended the weights launch in Gordon Elliott’s yard, capturing photos and video which was a great experience. To see the scale of everything was over-whelming and to meet such horses as Tiger Roll and General Principle up close was surreal compared to seeing them on TV.

    I was also responsible for updating Fairyhouse’s various social media platforms and website and had to implement a new page on the website which allowed customers to purchase tickets more easily than they would have before.  This was challenging and a learning curve but further extended my knowledge of how the backend of the websites work. I attended a photo call unveiling Una Healy as the Most Stylish Lady judge for Irish Grand National day, capturing behind the scenes photos and video, and also attended the official BoyleSports Irish Grand National launch, recording interviews with the MC and guests including Willie Mullins and Barry Geraghty.

    When the Easter Festival came around it was all go. I was involved in the set-up pre-raceday, making sure all trophies were in place, and distributing racecards throughout the racecourse. As soon as the gates opened, I was given the task to create a highlight video that would go out on social media at the end of each day.

    I was also involved with Navan Racecourse where I designed in-house graphics and created a highlight video for their ladies day.

    My time in Fairyhouse and Navan racecourses was a great experience for me and the teams there couldn’t have made me feel more welcome.

    The second half of my work placement is in the marketing department of Horse Racing Ireland. I have been given several daily tasks such as uploading raceday photographs and scheduling content on the various social media platforms for GoRacing. I was also tasked with updating the GoRacing websites meta data and other content. I’ve been creating social media graphics for the Longines Irish Champions weekend which is an exciting event to be working on and during the last few weeks I’ve been focusing on other projects such as the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards, Kids Club, the WiFi rollout and Galway Racecourse’s 150th anniversary. There is always something to be done around the office.

    It has been a great experience so far and has really opened my eyes into what goes on behind the scenes. I’d like to thank all the teams in Fairyhouse, Navan and Horse Racing Ireland for taking me on and having patience with me. I would definitely recommend the Horse Racing Ireland Internship to someone who is involved with, or thinking about getting involved in the industry! I have learned so much that will certainly help me down the line.