Curragh welcomes over 390 children from local primary schools

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Curragh welcomes over 390 children from local primary schools

September 21, 2011

Horse Racing Ireland held a ‘Go Racing Kid’s Club’ Day at The Curragh Racecourse yesterday (Tuesday 20th September). 391 5th and 6th class pupils from local schools took part in demonstrations from RACE (Racing Academy & Centre of Education) and farrier Donal Bennett and talks from jockey Ben Curtis and local trainers Michael Grassick and Dessie Hughes.

The local schools that attended on the day were: Ballyshannon National School, St. Brigids National School Ballysax, Scoil Bhride Nurney, Brannoxtown National School, Scoil Eimhin Naofa, Almhaine National School Kilmeague, St. Brigids National School Kilcullen, Ursaille Naofa Two Mile House and Kildangan National School.

The purpose of the ‘Go Racing Kid’s Club’ initiative is to build better integration between the racecourses and their local community, encouraging an affinity with racing which will hopefully produce racegoers of the future. The objective is to educate school children about racing and show them what happens behind the scenes on the racecourse. 

All the children received a ‘Go Racing Kid’s Club’ goodie bag at the end of the day which included complimentary tickets for racing at The Curragh Racecourse this Sunday to give their parents (as children go free).  There was also a competition element built into the day, as the children were invited to draw a picture of a racing and then following their day at the track, as homework the children were asked to write an essay about their morning at the Curragh with the winning drawing and essay announced at the races this Sunday.

Evan Arkwright, Commercial Manager, The Curragh Racecourse, commented: “We are delighted to support such a positive and innovative project that will ultimately help nurture an interest and understanding of horse racing for children from our locality.”

Tamarisk Doyle, PR Manager, HRI said: – “HRI has completed 11 ‘Go Racing Kids Club’ days so far since we launched in September 2010. They have been a very positive experience and we’ve had great support from the racecourses and industry on this. We have a further four planned before Christmas 2011 at Galway, Wexford, Punchestown and Fairyhouse and we hope to do more in 2012 to nurture racegoers of the future.”

As part of the tour, there are 5 stations including:-

Station 1: Farrier – Donal Bennett
A farrier speaks to the pupils about how he cares for horses’ hooves and shows them how horseshoes are made. He also shows the pupils various tools including rasps, pincers and different types of horseshoes.

Station 2: Parade Ring – Meet a Trainer – Michael Grassick & Dessie Hughes
A trainer talks to the pupils about how their yard prepares for a race day, how to train a racehorse, what a horse eats, how much exercise it must get etc. The trainer will bring a horse with him and will go through the anatomy of a horse and show the students how to tack up for racing.

Station 3: R.A.C.E – Racing Simulator
Representatives from R.A.C.E (Racing Academy & Centre of Education) are present with their racehorse simulator to talk to the students about their jockey trainee course. An instructor demonstrates, using the racehorse simulator, how to ride a racehorse. Some of the students from each group may have a go on it too.

Station 4: The Weigh Room – Meet a Jockey – Ben Curtis – HRI’s Rising Star of Flat Racing
The students are brought into the jockey’s weigh room where they meet and speak to a jockey and his valet. The jockey explains how he/she became a jockey, what it takes to be a jockey, how he/she prepares for races and answers any questions the students may have. The valet shows the students the jockey’s riding gear – helmet, whip, back protector, etc. and explains how he prepares the riding gear for race day.

Station 5: Racecourse Manager – Paul Hensey
The students then meet the Racecourse Manager. They learn about how the Racecourse Manager prepares the track/ground for a race day.

For further information, please contact:
Tamarisk Doyle, PR Manager, HRI – Tel: 045 455685

Images from the ‘Go Racing Kid’s Club’ Day at The Curragh Racecourse.

To download, please ctrl & click on the link and then click ‘Save As’ on the image (FOC)
Scoil Bhride, Nurney with jockey Ben Curtis in the weighroom
Allen National School with trainer Dessie Hughes
Farrier Donal Bennett showing the pupils how he makes horseshoes
St. Brigid’s National School, Ballysax on the track
Trainer Michael Grassick showing pupils from Allen National School how he tacks up a horse for racing.
Paul Hensey, Manager of the Curragh Racecourse showing pupils how he prepares the track for racing.

Notes to the Editor:

‘Go Racing Kid’s Club’ Autograph Book

HRI has developed a new ‘Go Racing Kid’s Club’ mascot ‘Hercules’ along with an Autograph Book (link to the book below). The book is colourful and has a lot of interesting facts inside which include:

  • 18 Jockeys profiled with facts & fun information about them and space for an autograph
  • The anatomy of a horse
  • How a horse moves
  • Racing word puzzle
  • How to read a racecard
  • Colouring corner
  • Spot the difference
  • Racing jokes
  • Hercules – HRI’s new ‘Go Racing Kid’s Club’ mascot

These autograph books have been given to the primary school children that have attended our education days. We will also be giving copies to each racecourse to be handed out on race days or upon request to the HRI Marketing Department –
Link to Autograph Book

To download, please press Ctrl & click on the link and then click ‘Save As’ on the image (images are free to use):

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