When the UK meets Ireland

We have visited Weatherbys, seen Ascot Racecourse and visited the training grounds of some prestigious trainers. All of these happened in the UK! Last week, we visited Ireland, a trip full of discovery.
Team UK and Ireland

Meet the world-famous horse
We travelled from Newmarket to Kildare to witness the county’s green meadows, and we saw some legendary stallions including Galileo, Sea The Stars, Invincible Spirit and Cape Cross during our trip. The most interesting part is that Cape Cross, who does not usually love people around him came directly from the one side of paddock to see us, possibly because all of us were wearing DITI red jackets!

The Curragh Racecourse
We visited the Curragh Racecourse on the third day of our visit. Gerry Duffy (General Manager of Godolphin in Ireland) told us at dinner time that the name of the racecourse specifically means horse running place in Irish. We saw the wonderful existing racing facilities and found the wind there was very brisk. The good news is that they will build a new stand! We were lucky to meet some of the trainers and riders there and spoke to them quite a bit. In one of our lectures, we listened to a seminar from Equinome equine gene research on Speed Gene Test, and realized that the horse industry is also undergoing a revolutionary transformation with the advancement of science and technology!

Meet the top system
There are many organisations involved in horse racing in Ireland and we found similarities between their counterparts in the UK. There are similar racing associations in the UK and Ireland, the UK British Horseracing Authority and the Horse Racing Ireland. Weatherbys are responsible for pedigrees in the UK, whereas Horse Sport Ireland is responsible for many aspects of racing in Ireland. Sales companies Tattersalls in the UK and Goffs in Ireland have a very strong influence and credibility in the thoroughbred industry. When we were reflecting on all the visits we have done, it came to us that it is the well-developed infrastructure that ensures the vitality of the industry.

During the trip, we were privileged enough to look at the annual report for the horse racing industry in Ireland, and got to know that a large percentage of the Irish horses are exported to other countries. Ireland has a favourable climate and pasture environment, great stallions, and comprehensive supporting infrastructure. It speaks for itself as in being the best land for raising great thoroughbreds!

Team UK

Team UK and Ireland with Cape Cross
Team UK and Ireland listened to trainer Pat Kelly at the Curragh training ground