Over 2,000 racing fans and potential racehorse owners got to go behind the scenes at training yards across the country on Saturday for the inaugural National Racehorse Trainer Open Morning.
28 trainers opened their doors to the public, the first time that such widespread access has been provided.
Visitors received a tour of their chosen yard and its facilities, got to meet the trainer and their teams, and most importantly saw horses in their home environment.
“We are extremely pleased with the feedback from the first National Racehorse Trainer Open Morning,” said Jason Morris, Director of Racing at Horse Racing Ireland.
“With over 2,000 visitors attending yards spread right across the country, it has certainly helped to raise the profile of racing nationwide.”
“The event was designed to allow people to look behind the scenes and to see for themselves the expert attention that racehorses receive and the dedication of those involved in caring for them.”
“We are very grateful to the trainers who supported this initiative and we hope that this event will have encouraged people to become involved with them in the thrills of racehorse ownership.”
The purpose was not just to attract the curious but to generate interest in owning a part of a racehorse as well and that appears to have worked.
“We had a brilliant day,” said Carlow trainer John ‘Shark’ Hanlon.
“We had about 130 people through the yard. We have a number of horses available for lease which visitors were interested in. I’m hopeful we will do business on the back of it.”
Visitors attending yards watched horses on the gallops and met the teams that look after them. They saw horses jumping and practising coming out of starting stalls.
This is a big weekend coming up for the sport with the formal opening of the new Curragh Racecourse for the Spring Festival and the first two classic races of the summer the Tattersalls 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas.
Image Credit: Morgan Treacy