With Valentine’s Day around the corner, the Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) is taking the opportunity to highlight some fantastic gift ideas from its member’s racecourses.
Each racecourse has its own selection of gift ideas for the avid racegoer or horse racing enthusiast in your life! This week’s column is all about exploring some lovely gift ideas for your loved one, a gift that will keep on giving well beyond February 14th.
Vouchers for tickets or flexi tickets that can be used on different dates at the races are the obvious gift for the avid racing fan at their local track, saving them the admission fees for their next visit or two. Another nice idea would be to look at the various ticket options available at racecourses and upgrading their usual general admission ticket to a package deal or reserved access option if its available at their favourite racecourse.
Nowadays, many racecourses are designing and selling branded gifts and merchandise. From hats, caps and snoods to gilets and jackets, check out their websites and see what’s available.
Although the racecourse might be some distance from you, ordering online or by telephone and paying for postage and packaging offers a simple gift idea delivered to your door or the door of the gift recipient.
Racecourse Memberships, Annual Memberships or Racegoers Clubs, the names may vary but the concept differs little up and down the country. Most racecourses nationwide offer a membership style package which includes a range of features such as, admission to all race meetings at the track for the year ahead.
A reserved area or access to a members’ bar is often part of the package also, and frequently you will find reciprocal arrangements between racecourses offering free admission to other racecourses on specific dates throughout the year.
Hospitality at the races is a real treat, with restaurants offering splendid views of the racecourse and with table service for food, beverage, and betting, what’s not to love about that? A reserved table for the day, racecards, tipsters, dinner and a nice base for the day to enjoy the racing in comfort and style is always a winner for a racing fan and will be much appreciated.
‘Race and Stay’ packages are offered by numerous hospitality providers nationwide, with multiple add-ons available also. Why not design your very own perfect racing getaway by combining some of these packages with other interesting excursions and activities available in the area while you’re at it?
There are so many great deals available in all four provinces. Make this year’s Valentine’s Day gift the staycation opportunity your loved one has been waiting for!
Finally, for the high-end gift requirements, a race sponsorship at your loved one’s favourite track could be the ultimate dream gift this Valentine’s Day.
Packages vary at racecourses and budget plays a part naturally but typically sponsorship packages include naming rights on the race, racecard advertising, space for a feature on the individual, tickets, parade ring access to meet the stars, the right to make a presentation to the winning connections of the race, photographs and so much more. Most of all it is an experience like no other for a real racing fan.
AIR hopes that you will support Irish Racecourses this Valentine’s Day and that this feature has inspired that perfect gift idea for someone you care for who loves going racing. For further information and to find links to all 26 racecourses and what they have to offer, visit www.air.ie.
By Leo Powell