This was the first of 6 Schools days planned for 2010, the other 5 dates are:
• Wednesday 28th September – Dundalk (racing on 3rd Oct)
• Tuesday 5th October – Limerick (racing on 10th Oct – Munster National day)
• Tuesday 12th October – Naas (racing on 17th Oct – Birdcatcher day)
• Tuesday 19th October – Cork (racing on 31st Oct – Cork National day)
• Tuesday 16th November – Gowran Park (racing on 20th Nov)
Limerick Racecourse Photos.
Tamso Doyle, PR Manager for Horse Racing Ireland said: - “Horse racing is a sport in which Ireland can justifiably claim to be a world leader and the success stories of Irish Trainers, Jockeys and Horses is a source of pride around the country. Horse racing also plays a huge part in the Irish economy and the aim of the day is to educate the younger generation regarding horse racing and show them what happens behind the scenes at the races. We also hope that this initiative will lead to greater integration between racecourses and their local community, encouraging an affinity with racing and producing the racegoers of the future.”
As part of the tour there are 4 stations including:
1. A Trainer – brings a racehorse and describes how to train a racehorse, how their yard gets ready for a big race day, what a horse eats, how much exercise it must get, demonstrates how to saddle up, etc.
2. A Jockey - brings the pupils into the inner sanctum, the weigh room, where they get to see and feel all the jockeys gear from a saddle to the racing silks, their safety equipment including skull cap, back protector, goggles, etc. The Jockey will give a general talk about horse racing to the children, how he rides in a race and take any questions they may have.
3. RACE - the Racing Academy & Centre of Education talk through how to become a jockey, get a job in the industry, they bring a young apprentices to demonstrate their simulator on the day (some lucky students will also be able to sit on the simulator and feel what its like to ride a racehorse).
4: Racecourse Manager – brings the children through the preparation for a race day and on a tour of the Racecourse, including walking some of the track and seeing a fence/starting stalls up close and how the fences are made.