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Agri Aware and equuip launch From Foal to Race Programme at Thurles Races

January 11, 2023

Michael Geary

From Foal to Race is back for 2023!

Agri Aware and equuip brought students from St Joseph’s College Borrisoleigh racing in Thurles Racecourse, to help launch the second year of the “From Foal to Race” transition year programme.

The TY pilot, which was successfully rolled out in January this year, is structured to create a learning experience for both student and teacher. The Agri Aware and equuip collaboration offers a comprehensive overview of the horse racing and breeding industry and saw almost 4,000 students from 120 schools around the country take part. 92% of teachers who took part in the pilot project rated it between four and five stars. Similarly, 83% of pupils gave the programme the same score.


Local links

A new addition to the project for 2023 will be linking TY students to their local racecourses, so they can understand the sport and the industry better and build relationships with those working in all aspects of the industry – from jockeys, trainers, stable staff, breeders, administrators, and support services. The lucky students from St. Josephs got to attend the races last week, pick the best turned out and present the winning prize afterwards.

Agri Aware and equuip have committed to roll out the ‘From Foal to Race’ TY programme on a permanent basis which will continue to raise awareness of Ireland’s racing and breeding industry, to increase understanding of the foal-to-race story, and to highlight the many careers within this vibrant industry. The horse racing and breeding industry is worth €1.84 billion to the Irish economy and employs approximately 29,000 people across a wide rural reach.

Programme details

The programme includes six chapters such as horse basics, making a racehorse, breeding and stud farms. Students also participate in a series of interactive webinars and have to submit a group project to complete the programme. In addition, the programme also covers transferable skills of group work, debate, public speaking, and research.

The programme also provides foundational knowledge for the leaving certificate cycle within biology, business, and agricultural science. This interdisciplinary approach to the programme reflects a real-world application of school-taught subjects in a flexible and interesting format.

No prior knowledge of horse racing or the equine industry is necessary to participate in the programme.


Agri Aware Chairman Alan Jagoe said: “The ‘From Foal to Race’ pilot programme was a great success, so I am delighted to see it launched as a full transition year programme. Agri Aware prides itself on providing free hands-on programmes for schools, so it was great to have everyone from St Joseph’s at Thurles Racecourse today to get a real feel for what happens at a race day and behind the scenes in the horse racing and breeding industry. Thanks so much to Willie Mullins and local Rachael Blackmore for giving us their time today, we wish them the best of luck for the rest of the season.


‘From Foal to Race.’ runs from January to May 2023 and teachers can register for free on the From Foal To Race programme page here.