Find out why painted horses will start to appear all over Kildare

An art trail with a difference

Leinster Leader reporter

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Find out why painted horses will start to appear all over Kildare

Some of the painted horses

Colourfully decorated resin fiberglass horses will be appearing all around County Kildare next year to celebrate the opening of the new Curragh Racecourse, which will benefit the Injured Jockeys Fund and Sensational Kids. 

‘Under stARTers orders’ will be temporarily located in key locations in May and June and artists will be working with well known personalities from the world of sport and entertainment who will be approached to paint and decorate the 20 life-sized statues.

The brightly adorned horses will be found "grazing" and taking in the scenery in prominent locations across Kildare and surrounding counties to create excitement and enthusiasm to coincide with the opening of the redeveloped Curragh Racecourse

The title of the project connects horse racing terminology with the artistic side of the project. An interactive map of the horses' locations will be available creating an exciting trail for people to follow.

There will be the opportunity to sponsor individual horses with the plan to then auction off all the horses in advance of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby in June with the proceeds benefiting both charities.

Michael Higgins, CEO Injured Jockeys Fund commented; “'We at Irish Injured Jockeys are thrilled to partner with Sensational Kids in this venture which The Curragh have kindly initiated to coincide with the opening of the New Curragh in 2019. Both charities will put funds raised to good use and we only recently became aware of the very positive results of using horses in occupational therapy.'

Karen Leigh Founder and CEO, Sensational Kids CLG said, “We are delighted to partner with the Irish Injured Jockeys and the Curragh Racecourse in this exciting and innovative project. This will benefit the children with additional needs who attend our early intervention services and Funds raised will go towards our Hippotherapy and subsidied early intervention therapies for children with additional needs, such as occupational therapy, speech therapy and play therapy”

Dave Southern and his team from the Art of Fundraising will manage the project on behalf of the two charities.

He commented, “This is a unique opportunity for individuals or companies anywhere in the world, particularly those with an affiliation to horse racing, to support two of Kildare's most worthy charities. There all plenty of different ways in which you can support the initiative at different levels of commitment, so whether you wish to become a main sponsor, adopt a particular piece of artwork before the auction, sponsor one of our horses, register to follow the online auction and/or attend the live auction, or simply make a donation”

The Curragh said it is planning to work with key stakeholders in the county on other initiatives as part of the launch of the new world class racecourse facilities.

The centrepiece of the redevelopment is the construction of a major new grandstand which incorporates five star public and corporate facilities, restaurants, bars and spectacular viewing over the racecourse.

For further information and to find out how you can support the Under stARTers order project, please contact Dave Southern, the Art of Fundraising Dave Southern on 087 6727911 e mail dave@theArtofFundraising.ie