The Irish National Stud & Gardens in County Kildare has won a top international award for its ground-breaking Irish Racehorse Experience.
The Irish National Stud & Gardens in Ireland’s Ancient East is one of the island’s treasures. A unique attraction of outstanding natural beauty and home to some of the most magnificent horses in the world, it brilliantly showcases the Irish passion for racehorses.
The Irish Racehorse Experience at the stud has recently won a top international award in the Themed Entertainment Sector. The Themed Entertainment Association’s Thea Awards celebrate achievement and excellence within the industry and are internationally recognised as among the most prestigious awards of the global attractions industry.
The Irish Racehorse Experience offers an immersive and interactive journey through the rich history and heritage of the Irish thoroughbred sector. It begins with the world’s first steeplechase in Cork and recounts how Ireland and the Irish diaspora have become a world-leading force in breeding, training and racing horses.
The experience combines cutting-edge gaming technology with live video, audio and graphics. It presents visitors with the chance to buy and train their own thoroughbred racehorse, culminating in a thrilling real-time race, guaranteed to set pulses racing.
The Irish National Stud & Gardens is a magnet for horse enthusiasts from around the world and has attracted record visitor numbers this year.
The Japanese Gardens at the stud.
As well as the Irish Racehorse Experience, the attraction gives visitors the opportunity to take a free guided tour that explains the history of the stud and its most famous racehorses. A visit in spring is particularly magical as it is then that foals can be seen taking their first steps.
Created between 1906 and 1910, they are the finest of their kind in Europe. The gardens were laid out by Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida and his son Minoru with the aim of symbolising the ‘Life of Man’ through trees, plants, flowers, lawns, rocks and water.
Visitors can also take a stroll through St. Fiachra’s Garden, which complements the Japanese Gardens by presenting the natural beauty of woodland, wetland, waterfalls, lakes and streams – a tribute to the Irish landscape in its rawest state.
County Kildare is known as the Thoroughbred County as it is the heart of Ireland’s horseracing community. The Curragh, Punchestown and Naas racecourses are all wonderful places to witness top-class racing and soak up the excitement of a sport that has been part of Irish life for centuries.