Matt Dempsey Chairman of the Irish National Stud with Minister Brendan Griffin and Deputy Martin Heydon
Fáilte Ireland are set to invest €2 million to develop a new tourist attraction called the Irish Racehorse Experience at the Irish National Stud in Kildare.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin TD paid a visit to the Stud yesterday where he announced that the funds of almost €2 million will be made available for the Irish Racehorse Experience in Kildare, the first of its kind in Ireland.
The Irish Racehorse Experience, which will celebrate Ireland’s horse racing industry and heritage, is set to open in spring 2020 and will cost a total of €3.2 million, which includes an investment from the Irish National Stud and Gardens.
Central to the attraction will be an immersive experience which takes the visitor through what it is like to train and race a thoroughbred from foal to finish. Visitors will also have the opportunity to ‘race’ their horse through state-of-art simulation technology which has never been used in Ireland before.
The funds will come from Fáilte Ireland Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects 2016-2020 to deliver the new indoor attraction at the Irish National Stud and Gardens
During his visit to the site of the new attraction Minister Griffin TD said the new Irish Racehorse Experience is not only a tourism attraction – it is a hands-on showcase of culture, sport and heritage.
“I’m delighted to announce Fáilte Ireland funding for this fantastic visitor experience," he said. "There’s no doubt it will build upon the already strong tourism offering in Ireland’s Ancient East. Projects like this demonstrate the importance of Fáilte Ireland’s capital investment programme, not only in terms of funding, but also in developing world-class visitor experiences which have the capacity to drive more tourists across the regions, generating revenue and jobs."
Chief Executive of the Irish National Stud and Gardens, Cathal Beale, said the Irish Racehorse Experience will provide a much-needed stage for the Irish racehorse to be showcased to the world.
"Ireland is unique in its ability to provide the perfect environment of skilled people and highly fertile land to raise the best horses," he said. "The experience will allow our visitors to understand how this is done and to try it for themselves. 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.”
Fáilte Ireland has worked closely with the Irish National Stud and Gardens to shape and develop the project since its conception. This will become a must-visit destination in Kildare and significantly enhance The Irish National Stud and Garden’s standing within Ireland’s Ancient East as part of its‘The Sport of Kings’ theme.
The Irish Racehorse Experience story line will also sign-post visitors to other nearby attractions within Ireland’s Ancient East including The Curragh Racecourse, Kildare Village Outlet and Newbridge Museum of Style Icons.
The Irish National Stud and Gardens welcomed over 127,000 visitors in 2018 and is Kildare’s most visited fee-paying attraction. It is the only stud farm in Ireland open to the public and offers daily guided tours.
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