Galway Racecourse 29-3-2017. Horse Racing Ireland Schools Day at the racetrack with 7 local schools and over 300 kids at the course this morning. Here we see pupils of Merlin Woods Primary School with racetrack Manager MICHAEL MOLONEY explaining details about the race track. Photo HEALY RACING.

Galway Racecourse will host a ‘Kids Go Racing’ Day on Thursday, 22nd March in Ballybrit in conjunction with Horse Racing Ireland.

As part of their Go Racing Kids’ Club, schools are invited to come along to their local track for a morning. The education days usually coincide with a family race day at the track, where there are extra activities between racing and an educational area set up to teach children about Irish racing.

The aim of the Go Racing Kids’ Club is to educate the younger generation about horse racing and show them what happens behind the scenes on a race day. And that this initiative will lead to greater integration between racecourses and their local community.

As part of the tour, there are five stations:

Meet a Trainer: A trainer brings a racehorse to the racecourse and describes how he or she would train it, how their yard gets ready for a big race day, what a horse eats and how much exercise it must get. The trainer also demonstrates how to saddle up and points out all the necessary tack.

Meet a Jockey: A jockey takes the pupils into the weigh room. The jockey shows the students his/her riding gear – helmet, whip, back protector, etc. and explains how he/she became a jockey, what it takes to be a jockey, how he/she prepares for races and answers any questions the students may have.

R.A.C.E (Racing Academy & Centre of Education): A representative of RACE provides information about their Trainee Jockey course and give demonstrations on the racehorse simulator.

Racecourse Manager: The pupils meet the Racecourse Manager and learn about how he/she prepares the track/ground for a race day. The pupils are then brought out on to the track where they are shown how starting stalls work or how the hurdles and fences are made.

Front Runner – Racing Club for Kids: During the break, the children are shown a range of racing equipment, props and visuals that are required for racing, including silks, horse shoes, racing tack, feed, etc. This gives children an insight into racing in a fun and interactive way.

For further details, contact Horse Racing Ireland or the Galway Races Website.