Thursday, May 30, 2024

Local school children get a look behind the scenes at iconic racecourse – news – Western People

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School children from six local schools – St Joseph’s Ballinrobe, The Neale National School, Roxboro National School, Cong National School, St Mary’s National School Partry and Cloonliffen National School – took part in a special Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) Racing Juniors education day at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Monday May 13 as the County Mayo racecourse gears up for their two-day meeting on Monday and Tuesday May 27 and 28 featuring their flagship McHale race day on Monday May 27.

160 primary school children got to go behind the scenes at Ballinrobe and meet local trainer Michael Flannery and his racehorse Lean Times. Michael explained what his job entails as a racehorse trainer as well as a typical day-to-day routine for his racehorses, their exercise schedule and diet, and how he prepares them to run in a race.

Jockey Derek O’Connor brought the children into the weighroom to show them the jockeys’ changing room and the kit jockeys wear and use on race days including boots, back-protector, helmet and saddle.

School children at the Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) Racing Juniors education day at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Monday May 13 with jockey, Derek O’Connor

Track Manager Cathal Flannelly explained how the team prepare the track for a race meeting and all the equipment required to maintain the racing surface. In addition, RACE – the Racing Academy and Centre of Education, were on hand to give children an opportunity to ride the racehorse simulator and farrier Dylan McGrath explained the role of the farrier and the special skills and equipment required to treat racehorses hooves.

John Flannelly, Ballinrobe Racecourse Manager, said: ‘It was fantastic to welcome 160 enthusiastic children from our local national schools to Ballinrobe Racecourse on Monday for our HRI Juniors education day. It’s incredibly important to us to provide opportunities like this for young minds to engage with the sport in a meaningful way that is not always possible on a race day.”

School children at the Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) Racing Juniors education day at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Monday with trainer Michael Flannery and his horse Lean Times
School children at the Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) Racing Juniors education day at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Monday with trainer Michael Flannery and his horse Lean Times

“The children got to experience what happens behind the scenes and ask questions firsthand to better understand our sport and our racecourse.”

The objective of the HRI Racing Juniors education days is to encourage an affinity with racehorses among the younger generation and demonstrate the variety of careers available in the racing and breeding industry in Ireland.

For more information on the day please contact info@ballinroberacecourse or call 0949541811

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