• Hannah Berry - HRI Intern

    With only a short time remaining as marketing intern for Horse Racing Ireland, this blog allows me to reminisce and truly appreciate the worthwhile and enjoyable experience this internship has been. Although not from a racing background, my interest in racing accelerated during my undergraduate degree in Equine Science at UCD where I completed my work placement at Darley Stud, Japan. After graduating I made a conscious decision to gain as much industry experience as possible and relocated to Switzerland to work in equine rehabilitation and training, which then led me to pursue my MSc Equine Science in Hartpury College this year. I applied for the internship as I felt it was the perfect opportunity to further develop my career and expose myself to a different aspect of the racing industry, and it has outdone any of my previous expectations.

    The marketing team at HRI is small but each staff member is dedicated and has an evident passion and talent for their role. Although no one day is the same, my responsibilities as marketing intern include website maintenance, uploading social media content to increase engagement, recording media content while at race-days and events, producing weekly newsletters, monitoring media coverage and assisting with press releases. As my educational background has been primarily scientific, I have treasured the experience in marketing as it is such a pivotal aspect in any successful company. Sophie O’Hare, Digital Marketing Executive and Joanne Burke, Press Officer have been particularly helpful in guiding me in my work and everyday duties. From day one the marketing team has enabled me to get as involved as possible in a variety of tasks. Within my first week, I accompanied Barbara White, Marketing and PR Manager, to Mutiny Studios to record our radio racing campaign voiced by Peter Coonan. It was only a few days later I found myself assisting with a photo shoot for Irish Injured Jockeys featuring Ruby Walsh and the RACE apprentice jockeys. It is experiences such as these that have given me a huge appreciation of the work that goes on behind the scenes, and nothing can describe the satisfying experience of seeing and hearing the finished product.

    Sophie O’Hare and Claire Rushe have organised numerous inspirational trips which have refreshingly reinforced the amount of opportunities that exist here in Ireland. Our visit to Kildangan Stud consisted of presentations from Joe Duffy, Gerry Kavanagh and Clodagh Kavanagh who spoke about the importance of building a purposeful career and of the unique opportunity the Darley Flying Start has to offer. We also spent an equally riveting day at the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (ITBA) headquarters with informative talks from their office manager Kerry Ryan and Nessa Joyce of the Irish European Breeders’ Fund (IEBF). I have also had the privilege to volunteer for the Irish Injured Jockeys fund at this year’s Dublin Horse Show, and our involvement has led a group of us to register for the Jog for Jockeys run later this month. 

    I am now entering my last few weeks with HRI, and have been lucky enough to assist with and be present at the Longines Irish Champions Weekend launch. Held at the O’Reilly Hall in UCD, the launch was a great success with guests including Ronan and Jessica O’Gara who are this year’s Sport and Style Ambassadors, and many leading players in the Irish racing industry. Racing Commentator Brendan McArdle chaired an entertaining panel discussion which included Ronan O’Gara, Chris Hayes and Johnny Murtagh. The event reflected what this spectacular race weekend has to offer across two of Ireland’s premier racecourses, Leopardstown and the Curragh.

    Every member of the marketing team has made an outstanding effort to be as accommodating as possible and I have learned an invaluable amount which I am certain will transfer into future roles in my career. I would like to sincerely thank all of the marketing team for making my time spent at Horse Racing Ireland as memorable as it has been. This experience has once again reinstated my desire to pursue a meaningful and lasting career within the racing industry, and I have no doubt that my experience in Horse Racing Ireland will help me along that journey.

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