Ireland’s Equine Heritage Brought to Life

Counties Kildare and Tipperary are set to benefit from a new Destination Experience Development Plan that will bring to life the extraordinary thoroughbred horse tradition, the world-renowned horse people, their crafts and the breeding heritage that is synonymous with Ireland. 

Fáilte Ireland and Kildare and Tipperary County Councils have today (Wednesday 10 November) launched the Thoroughbred Country Destination Experience Development Plan (DEDP) to drive and sustain tourism in Kildare and Tipperary by developing new and enhanced visitor experiences across both counties. 

The five-year Plan has been developed in collaboration with Kildare and Tipperary County Councils, and the Thoroughbred Country Steering Group. Member of the Group include The Irish National Stud, Horse Racing Ireland, The Curragh Racecourse, Punchestown Racecourse, Coolmore Stud, Kildare Village, Hotel Minella, Into Kildare and Tipperary Tourism. 

Ireland’s global reputation as a leader in the breeding and racing of the Thoroughbred will be central to the plan. It will create a dynamic destination to attract domestic and international visitors and establish the region as the world’s leading thoroughbred experience. 

The Thoroughbred Plan

The Plan includes a number of innovative and ambitious initiatives to be developed in the region over the course of the plan including:  

  • The new International Thoroughbred Trail
  • The Irish National Stud Experience
  • Fethard Horse Country Experience
  • Coolmore Experience
  • Mingle with the Stars Stallion Trail
  • The Curragh Behind the Scenes Tour 
  • Trainers’ Yards Visits 

The diversity and range of attractions and unique experiences across the counties will be highlighted and the plan will also develop a range of behind-the-scenes exclusive activities for tourists and visitors to the region.  

Announcing the Plan at the National Stud, Paul Kelly, CEO Fáilte Ireland, said: “The heritage and legacy of the Thoroughbred is a hugely significant part of the tourism offering for Kildare and Tipperary. The Thoroughbred Country Destination Development Plan aims to connect Ireland’s world class reputation in the equestrian and thoroughbred industry to cultural tourism, both domestically and internationally. The plan will be implemented across key strategic development areas and increase the visitor numbers, dwell time and visitor revenue to both Kildare and Tipperary.” 

Cathal Beale, Chairperson of the Thoroughbred Country Steering Group concluded, “The launch of the Thoroughbred Country 5 Year Development Plan marks the beginning of a unique collaboration between two pillars of Irish society; the tourism and thoroughbred sectors. The Plan will leverage existing thoroughbred attractions and assist in the development of new ones to create a world-class selection of behind-the-scenes experiences.”  

Joan Scales
Award-winning journalist, Joan has been writing about travel and tourism for many years principally for The Irish Times and lately for travel2ireland. Joan has appeared many times on television and radio talking about the business of travel and all its component strands. She is also a public speaker and has appeared at many international conventions and conferences.

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