As Christmas is fast approaching and the festive season is well and truly underway, the Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) is taking the opportunity to highlight some wonderful gift ideas from its members’ racecourses and share some dates for upcoming race meetings in this week’s column.
Christmas racing has always been a firm favourite for many offering a unique opportunity to catch up with their loved ones and friends in a social and sporting environment. This December there are quite a few race days to choose from across the country. Starting quickly with Dundalk and Fairyhouse followed by Clonmel, Navan and Cork. Check out the full list of dates below.
Dundalk – Fri 1st, Wed 6th, Fri 8th, Wed 13th, Fri 15th, Wed 20th and Fri 22nd
Fairyhouse – Sat 2nd, Sun 3rd and Sat 16th
Clonmel – Thurs 7th
Navan – Sat 9th and Sun 17th
Cork – Sun 10th
Punchestown – Tues 12th and Sun 31st
Naas – Thurs 14th
Thurles – Sun 17th
Down Royal – Tues 26th
Leopardstown – Tues 26th, Wed 27th, Thurs 28th and Fri 29th
Limerick – Tues 26th, Wed 27th, Thurs 28th and Fri 29th
Give the gift of racing!
Each racecourse has its own selection of gift ideas for the avid racegoer or horse racing enthusiast! Vouchers for tickets or open tickets that are flexible to allow a choice of dates are the obvious gifts for the avid racing fan at their local track, saving them the admission fees for their next visit or two.
A nice idea would be to look at the various ticket options available at racecourses and upgrade their usual general admission ticket to a package deal, reserved access option or to include lunch or dinner if it is available at their favourite racecourse?
More and more racecourses are designing and selling branded gifts and apparel. From baseball caps and snoods to gilets and jackets, check out their websites and see what is on offer.
Racecourse Memberships, Annual Memberships or Clubs are an excellent gift idea, the names may vary from track to track but the concept differs little up and down the country. Most racecourses offer a membership style package which includes, admission to all race meetings at the track in 2024 and added value like racecards, reciprocal days at other tracks and exclusive member access areas.
‘Race and Stay’ packages are offered by numerous hospitality providers across the country, 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 are at it? There are so many great deals available in all four provinces. Make this year’s gift the racing staycation your friend or family member has been waiting for!
Finally, for your high-end gift requirements, a race sponsorship at the recipient’s favourite racecourse could be the ultimate dream gift this Christmas. Packages vary at individual racecourses and availability and budget plays its part here too, but typically sponsorship packages include naming rights on the race, racecard advertising or 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 Christmas and that this feature has inspired that perfect gift idea for someone you care for who like so many of us just loves going racing. For further information and to find links to all racecourses visit www.air.ie.