A new interactive experiential attraction, the Irish Racehorse Experience, which combines cutting-edge gaming technology with live video, audio and graphics, opens today at The Irish National Stud & Gardens. The Irish Racehorse Experience offers visitors the chance to own, train and ride their own racehorse, culminating in a thrilling real-time race.
Visitors can expect to be taken on a journey through the rich history and heritage of the Irish thoroughbred sector. Ireland is a world leader in breeding, training and racing. From the moment the visitor starts on their journey, their decisions and skills decide the result in the big race. Along the way, users will learn about Ireland’s rich racing past.
Custom-built and beautifully designed rooms lead visitors through an educational and exciting journey. They will learn tips from top trainer Jessica Harrington before choosing a training yard for their own horse and learning about a horse’s anatomy and physiology. Then it’s time to pick your racing colours before race day. Then it’s onto the big race, where visitors will ride an innovative simulator for the chance to take home the glory of a big win.
After the race, visitors can watch and analyse their performance through an interactive display. With floor-to-ceiling windows, this room overlooks a paddock where racing legends graze. The newest arrival visitors can meet is the recently-retired Faugheen who joins old stablemate and fellow Champion Hurdle winner Hurricane Fly as well as Hardy Eustace, Beef Or Salmon, Kicking King and Rite Of Passage this week.
Chief Executive of the Irish National Stud and Gardens, Cathal Beale, said: “The story of Ireland’s success in the world of thoroughbred racing is everyone’s story – it is part of our heritage and DNA.
The Irish Racehorse Experience allows the Irish racehorse to be showcased to the world in a new and exciting way.” He continued: “Ireland is unique in its ability to provide the perfect environment of skilled people and highly fertile land to raise the best horses. This experience will allow our visitors to understand how this is done and to try it for themselves. This attraction is the first of its kind in Ireland and we are very thankful for the support of Fáilte Ireland and the Ireland’s Ancient East team in helping us to bring this incredibly exciting project to life.”
Orla Carroll, Director of Product Development at Fáilte Ireland said: “Fáilte Ireland was extremely pleased to provide funding of just under €2 million to the Irish Racehorse Experience at the National Stud as part of our large grants scheme in 2019. This new immersive experience will greatly enhance the Irish National Stud and position it as a flagship experience in County Kildare that will attract national and international visitors. After an incredibly challenging year for tourism, it is wonderful to see this unique, must visit attraction officially open to welcome visitors and showcase Ireland’s world-renowned racing heritage.”
Located in the beating heart of Ireland’s thoroughbred county, the Irish National Stud and Gardens welcomes almost 140,000 visitors each year. Beginning in the early 1900s, the stud has produced some of the best racehorses in Europe and today it is one of the top breeding farms in the world. It is also home to the finest Japanese Garden in Europe that was designed outside Japan.
The Irish Racehorse Experience is now open to the public. The cost of admission is €5 in addition to the admission to the Irish National Stud & Gardens. The experience must be pre-booked online at irishnationalstud.ie