• Alison Brassil - Tipperary Intern

    “For in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life, and it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work”. These are the words that echoed from our memorable visit to Kildangan Stud, one of the highlights of my internship. This hit home with me as I have found that my passion for working in the thoroughbred industry has made work not feel like a job at all. Through the HRI internship, I have been able to gain invaluable experience working in an industry that I love.

    From a young age I have always known that I wanted a career in the thoroughbred industry. Born and bred into a racing background, my passion for the sport has grown immensely over the years. As I approached the end of my final year of Equine Science in UL, I was eager to learn and expose myself to different aspects of the thoroughbred industry. I have been lucky enough to gain invaluable experience working in the breeding sector for some great operations including Coolmore America in the horse capital of the world, which ignited my passion further as I realised the abundance of career opporutnities available in the industry. I applied for the HRI internship as I felt there was a gap in my CV and I wanted to gain experience in the racing sector to develop my career as a well-rounded industry professional. Naturally, I was overjoyed when I was offered the position at Tipperary Racecourse as I knew it would give me the opportunity to do exactly that!

    I began my internship wanting to learn something new; little did I know the incredible variety of tasks that Tipperary Racecourse would have to offer me. It was not long before I was hard at work and with our Family Day right around the corner, I was faced with the challenge of promoting and organising the Family Day activities. The activities were a big hit with the children and after hours of research and careful planning, it was a great sense of acheivement to find out that our attendance and profit margins for that fixture had reached an all time high.

    I am grateful for the small but dedicated team at Tipperary of Andrew Hogan, Shane Gorey and Perry Power, as working with each of them has provided me with a great insight into all of the various aspects that go into running a racecourse behind the scenes that I had never been aware of before. Andrew, who is now the manager of Cork and Tipperary Racecourses, is a prime example of how hard work and dedication pays off. Despite the hard work, the relaxed and fun work atmosphere at Tipperary makes the days fly by. I relish the variety of work and learning opportunities as each day brings something new. My roles can range from social media marketing, website maintenance and carrying out promotional campaigns to assisting with raceday planning and track management. I’m privileged to work with a team that allows me to have great input in creating promotional campaigns and raceday planning during weekly meetings. On racedays, I assist in making sure everything is running smoothly and strong relationships with racegoers, owners and trainers are maintained.

    Recently I was assigned the task of promoting Tipperary Cancer Colour Fun Run, which will take place on August 5th. Marketing for such an event requires a personal touch, and it was not long before I was on the phone improving my sales technique and communication skills, creating good relationships with sponsors and customers alike.

    I feel lucky to have had a number of great experiences organised for myself and the other interns by HRI throughout the internship including trips to the Irish National Stud and Kildangan Stud with inspirational talks from Joe Osborne, Gerry Duffy and Clodagh Kavanagh. All of their values aligned with the ethos of always striving to improve, learn and move forward. I came away thinking, ‘How can I add value to the industry?’ The answer is something I will carry with me going forward; to do the best possible job with the task I have been given. I was also privileged to promote Longines Irish Champions Weekend at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and Irish Injured Jockey’s at the RDS Dublin Horse Show.

    I would highly recommend the HRI internship as it has allowed me to gain a valuable education in the racing industry and I have no doubt that it will serve as a great starting point for a future in the thoroughbred industry. I would like to thank Horse Racing Ireland, Sophie O’Hare and Claire Rushe, Andrew Hogan, Shane Gorey and the team at Tipperary Racecourse for this wonderful opportunity. 

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