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
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