• Matthew Collins - Fairyhouse Intern

    Although unlike many of the other interns I don’t have a strong background in the racing industry, I feel that I bring a different overview and approach to my role as intern.  My interest in racing is something that has grown and developed over the years and now occupies a vast majority of my time.  The biggest influencer in terms of my racing interest has been my father and now it has become commonplace for us to indulge ourselves in everything racing-related.


    With my final year of Business Studies in Trinity College Dublin on the horizon, I decided to apply for an internship which married my love of racing with my business acumen.  Not surprisingly, I discovered that the world of work can be far withdrawn from the concrete walls of a lecture hall. However, with the help of the team here at Fairyhouse, led by Peter Roe and anchored by Gillian Carey and David O’Connor, I have been able to remove my ‘blinkers’ to see how the world of work truly functions.


    A common misconception associated with the racing industry is that it centrally revolves around horses, however having the right people and the management of these individuals is integral to the success of the business.  From grooms looking after the horses to the winning owner, to the everyday punter, each play a crucial role in the continued growth of the industry.  The success of the Fairyhouse team depends on people working together and it is very evident in the office that each cog in the wheel must work in tandem in order to achieve the desired outcome.  The teamwork and sense of belonging that is promoted in Fairyhouse makes it easy to work within this environment.


    Throughout my short time in Fairyhouse, I have been exposed to various facets of the racing industry.  The unpredictability of racing is something that I relish as no two days are the same and you are always kept on your toes.  Fortunately my role as Fairyhouse intern has incorporated varying duties and responsibilities from Marketing to Operations.  Some of the pre-raceday roles David and Gillian have tasked me with include raceday promotions, monitoring social media profiles, updating social media profiles (including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram), promoting sponsorship packages and liaising with patrons regarding events and raceday experience.


    My roles throughout the raceday range from preparing suites and welcoming patrons to presenting winning connections with their prize.  However, the most enjoyable part of my day is escorting these winners to our Owners and Trainers Lounge where I replay the race for them.  This is the most rewarding part of the job and gives me the opportunity to network with some of Ireland’s most prestigious owners and trainers.


    The opportunity to be selected for this coveted internship programme has been amazing and I, along with the other interns have been afforded the opportunity to further develop our knowledge of this complex industry by visiting some of Irelands most esteemed stud farms.  The impeccable grounds which The National Stud and Kildangan Stud boast, play host to some past and future stallion stars. The thing that struck and impressed me the most was that even though we had separate presentations from the team at Kildangan, which included Joe Osborne, Managing Director, Gerry Duffy, General Manager and Clodagh Kavanagh, Darley International Student Programme Course Manager, it was clear to see how they were singing off the same hymn sheet.  The most intuitive thing I learned was how crucial it is to always strive to better yourself in any way possible, and to keep adding value to whatever you do in life.


    Looking to the future, I feel that this internship will stand me in good stead for whatever challenges I may face.  This industry is invaluable not only to the Irish economy but also to Irish culture and heritage and it’s with that in mind that I would like to thank Horse Racing Ireland for supplying me with a gateway into an industry which continues to give me so much. Finally I would encourage anyone to apply for this programme as it will enable them to grow their insight into the thoroughbred industry while also growing themselves as individuals.

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