As we move into the busy summer months of the racing calendar, it is opportune to draw attention to the popular Association of Irish Racecourse (AIR) Racehorse Owners Scheme, and how the AIR members are adding value to the ownership experience nationwide.
The scheme is a significant concession offered by all 26 Irish racecourses to racehorse owners. Essentially, it offers free admission to over 100 race meetings each year for racehorse owners to avail of and enjoy. All Irish racecourses have collectively nominated a variety of meetings throughout the year where owners, who have a horse returned in training, can obtain free access on presentation of their AIR admission card. This is irrespective of whether or not they have a runner.
This is a valuable recognition on the part of the 26 AIR racecourses of the importance of the role played by owners within our industry. AIR works with the Association of Irish Racehorse Owners (AIRO), the ownership department of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) and the many individual member racecourses to enhance the overall ownership experience here in Ireland.
Free of charge
Paddy Walsh, chief executive of AIR, said this week: “Racehorse owners are the lifeblood of our industry, and the members of the Association of Irish Racecourses recognise that fully. This scheme enables owners to attend in excess of 100 race days free of charge, regardless of whether they have a runner on the day or not, thanks to our member racecourses. It is a significant contribution in recognition of the importance of racehorse owners to our industry.”
The dates for your diary this month on which the scheme will be in operation are Saturday 14th at Navan, Sunday 15th at Killarney, the meeting at Sligo on Tuesday 17th, evening meetings at Roscommon on Monday 23rd and Wexford on Wednesday 25th, Punchestown on Sunday 29th, and finally at both evening meetings at Ballinrobe on Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st. For a full listing by racecourse or by calendar month, go to www.air.ie
Regina Byrne, general manager of AIRO said: “Our organisation has a very good working relationship with the Association of Irish Racecourses and the member tracks it represents. We very much welcome and appreciate the Owners Scheme, as it adds value to the overall racehorse ownership product which is so important.”
In addition to the Owners Scheme, it is important to note that owners with a runner at any given race meeting in Ireland receive free admission for four people on the day of racing. They also receive an email with specific access information, discounts and deals on tickets, and hospitality offerings depending on availability via the ownership department of Horse Racing Ireland.
Walsh explained: “At declaration time, 48 hours prior to racing, owners receive an informative email alert from the ownership department of HRI with specific details of their upcoming race meeting, including where to park, how to access the racecourse, wristband or swing badge information and much more. It has proven very popular with owners and is a helpful communications service for our member racecourses. Strong engagement like this further enhances the racehorse ownership product, and in turn their experience of racing and ownership here in Ireland.”
AIR is grateful to Regina Byrne at AIRO and Amber O’Grady and the team in the ownership department of HRI for their continued commitment to racehorse owners and ongoing support of AIR member racecourses.
Hopefully, more owners will enjoy activating the Owners Scheme throughout the summer season.
By Leo Powell