THE Agri Aware and equuip ‘From Foal to Race’ collaboration offers a comprehensive overview of the horse racing and breeding industry. The transition year (TY) pilot was successfully rolled out in January last year and is structured to create a learning experience for both student and teacher. 2022 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.

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. Last year the lucky students from St. Josephs got to attend the races, 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.

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.

‘From Foal to Race.’ runs from January to May 2023 and teachers can register for free on the From Foal To Race programme via the Q Code opposite.