THE Irish Racehorse Experience at the Irish National Stud has won a top international award in the themed entertainment sector.

The Themed Entertainment Association recognises excellence in the visitor attractions and entertainment industry and has recognised the Irish Racehorse Experience with an award for ‘Excellence on a Limited Budget’. The accolade will be formally presented in Disneyland in California next April.

The Irish Racehorse Experience opened its doors in June 2019 at a cost of €3.2 million. It offers an immersive and interactive journey through the history of horse racing and tells the tale of the thoroughbred racehorse in a completely new and accessible way. It combines cutting-edge gaming technology with live video, audio and graphics to offer visitors the chance to buy and train their own thoroughbred racehorse, culminating in a thrilling real-time race, guaranteed to set pulses racing.

Cathal Beale, CEO of the Irish National Stud, said: “The Irish Racehorse Experience provides a stage to showcase the Irish passion for our racehorses and bring that story to life in a way that everyone can interact with and enjoy. We are thrilled to have secured a TEA award and for the recognition it gives to The Irish Racehorse Experience as a significant addition to our world class tourism offering.”

Paul Kelly, CEO of Failte Ireland, said: “Fáilte Ireland has invested almost €2 million in the Irish Racehorse Experience under our grants scheme for large tourism projects 2016-2020.

“Since opening last year, it has become a real gem in Ireland’s Ancient East, and a big draw for tourists and horseracing enthusiasts from around the world. The receipt of this award is testament to the global appeal of this unique, immersive visitor attraction and reinforces Ireland’s reputation as a high-quality visitor destination.”

Niall Gibbons of Tourism Ireland added: “This award will give Tourism Ireland another wonderful opportunity to continue to highlight the Irish National Stud and Ireland’s Ancient East as a world-class destination.”

The attraction was designed by DMW Creative, whose director Peter Whittaker said: “The Irish National Stud and Fáilte Ireland supported the vision for a ground-breaking visitor experience every step of the way. This award is a testament to their courage and belief in unified physical and digital visitor experiences, and further proof of the ability for Irish design to compete at the highest international level.”