RACE Ireland Graduation Ceremony 2022-23

Friday we had the pleasure of attending the RACE Ireland Graduation ceremony at their training facility in the Curragh. Their most recent class was graduating… were we looking at the Future of Irish Racing?

To set the scene: Racing Academy & Centre of Education (RACE) was established in 1973 as a social project to offer support to young racing apprentices and has gradually evolved over more than forty years to become the national training academy for the Irish horseracing industry offering courses for jockeys, stable staff, racehorse trainers, breeders and others involved in the thoroughbred sector. RACE is a not-for-profit educational initiative and registered charity supported by various State agencies and the racing industry.

Back to the event… the ceremony itself was brilliant. There was a real buzz of excitement around the place as Caroline Walker took to the stage for the welcome announcement. Caroline thanked their team, the participants, sponsors and supporting brands with a special mention for Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board aka KWETB without them, the training course would not be possible.

It was surreal to hear the impact RACE has had. “After 50 years of RACE being in existence, our students have been spread nationally and internationally in all levels of the thoroughbred horse racing industry”. Caroline Strong in her intro speech.

So lets see the graduates in this year’s class. After all, the ceremony is to celebrate them.

The ceremony was a beautiful way to celebrate the work and achievements of the class of 2022-23.

On the day we had the pleasure of chatting with Paddy Flood Barn Manager at RACE, Patrick Harty from Harty Racing and a ton of the participants including Finn Gillen one of two jockeys to already have his amatuer license. You can see the interviews here on our Instagram.

Speaking with Chief Operations Manager at RACE Caroline Strong – “On Friday 9th June we were delighted to have 26 Trainees graduate from the 2023 Trainee Jockey Course. Two of these have already taken out their amateur licence and I expect a few more will follow in the coming weeks”.

Caroline continued “The course itself has gone through a change in recent years and we are working to ensure the course provides trained employees for the entire Thoroughbred industry- not just jockeys. From this year’s group all bar two will remain working full or part time in the racing industry with two pursuing further equine education. Both of these plan on returning to the thoroughbred industry following further training. The year is long and challenging but we can stand over the competencies of the students – certain skills require time and investment and should not be rushed or we lose the longevity and sustainability of the career in racing”.

We are looking forward to doing some cool content work with RACE in the future. We had such a great day. Their ethos, focus on the next generation and collaborative approach was clear to see on the day. The smiles and energy were simply infectious.

To the graduating class of 2022-23, huge congrats from all the team here at The Grassroots Gazette.


RACE Ireland Graduation Ceremony 2022-23

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