In this week’s column we are delighted to welcome the new manager of Limerick Racecourse, Emma White, who will be joining the Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) as part of her new role.
The association and its members would like to warmly welcome Emma and they look forward to her enjoying the independent guidance and representation that AIR offers all racecourse managers, as well as the unwavering peer-to-peer support and hand of friendship that is synonymous with the association.
After three and a half years at the helm of Sedgefield Racecourse as General Manager, Emma joins Limerick Racecourse following an approach by the Board of Limerick Racecourse some time ago. Previously, she was responsible for Yorkshire Go Racing, a promotional company representing the nine locally-based racecourses for four years.
As a young girl, Emma was pony mad, and although she always loved watching racing and had been a professional show jumper in her own right, it was at Yorkshire Go Racing that she first embraced working in the racing industry and fell in love with the racing game. She particularly adores National Hunt racing commenting “I am really passionate about it; I even rode in a point-to-point once but to be honest I had my eyes closed for most of it!”
On a recent visit to Limerick Racecourse she was blown away by “just how much space there is”, a refreshing change to what she is used to working with at Sedgefield, which is one of the narrowest tracks in Britain. Limerick will facilitate more runners than she’s used to, the luxury of space to move the running rail is exciting to her.
Emma worked her final day at Sedgefield on Thursday, 14th of January, an emotional day as she bids farewell to her wonderful team and industry colleagues with whom she has worked for almost a decade. Not one to let the grass grow, she will travel to Ireland on Monday, by ferry, to begin her new role at Limerick right away and is looking forward to getting started.
“The board have been so patient with me, as I had notice to serve at Sedgefield. it’s great to finally start the adventure which has been in the pipeline for some time now. I really can’t wait to officially start.”
The move for the rest of the family will be gradual, James her husband and their daughter Analise aged 10, will move over also in the coming months, along with their seven horses, two ponies and three dogs. “The move will be quite the military operation. James works in major pharmaceuticals and can work from anywhere and with Shannon Airport so near us it offers him great flexibility to travel for work also, which is fantastic.”
The entire family are excited about what the future holds, her daughter who idolises Rachael Blackmore can’t wait to meet her in the flesh and get her ponies going on Irish soil. When Emma was offered the position her husband James, who is typically very laid back said: “you can’t not do this”. It was more than enough encouragement for this powerhouse to seize the opportunity.
Looking ahead, Emma is set to hit the ground running at Limerick Racecourse, and said: “make no mistake, Limerick Racecourse is a business and racing will always be at the heart of it. However, I also see huge potential and many opportunities for the venue as a whole, and I intend to maximise its commercial prospects fairly quickly.”
The association of Irish Racecourses would like to wish Emma the very best in her new position at Limerick Racecourse.
By Leo Powell.