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Back By Popular Demand: Up The Yard Challenge 2023

Punchestown racecourse is delighted to announce the return of the Up The Yard Challenge Race for Irish stable and stud staff on Sunday 19th February.

First introduced in 2017, the concept was to host a challenge race to provide an opportunity for stable and stud staff to achieve the ambition of riding not just on the a racecourse but t the home of Irish jump racing.

Event organiser and Punchestown Sponsorship Manager Leona Hughes explains the thinking behind the initiative: “Most who work in horse racing usually have a dream to ride in a race at some stage. Ireland is full of brilliant jockeys. It’s such a competitive industry and we all know some talented horse men and women who ride out every day but for whatever reason didn’t go on to become jockeys. The Up The Yard Challenge gives them a chance to take centre stage and show everyone what they can do.” Hughes continued “We encourage anyone who always wanted to ride on the track to check out the qualifying criteria and then be brave and get nominated!”

The Up The Yard Challenge will take place after the last official race on Sunday 19th February 2023 over a distance of around one mile and seven furlongs.  Yards and studs around the country are asked to nominate riders that meet the criteria by 16th December 2022. From the nominees a final list of sixteen riders and four reserves will be selected. All selected riders must qualify to take part by completing a one-day charity race assessment at the RACE centre in Kildare. This is organised directly by Punchestown and the RACE team.

The inaugral running of the Up The Yard Challenge took place in 2017 was won by Louise Magee on Taglietelle representing the Gordon Elliott team. Camilla Sharples on Markhan landed the spoils the following year for the same Cullentra establishment with Jimmy Finn’s stable taking the 2019 honours.

The Up The Yard Challenge is part of Punchestown’s continued commitment to Irish Stable Staff as explained by Leona Hughes “We are delighted to bring back this race. We’ve had plenty of interest and enquiries over recent years but for obvious reasons we couldn’t hold the race until now. We work alongside the stable staff and wherever possible we would always try to source a sponsor for the stable yard canteen to ensure that everyone working that day gets a complimentary meal. In addition, we recently worked with Midland Travel who very generously sponsored an amazing prize of a trip to Paris next summer for someone working in the yard over the Winter festival weekend. At the festival Red Mills hosted pop-up interactive zones with prizes and giveaways in the yard. It’s all part of on-going programme which will hopefully include upgrades to facilities following our current major track project which is taking up available resources but we are always planning for the future here at Punchestown.”

Up The Yard Challenge Race Checklist

The Rider Criteria:

  1. Nominated riders must be 18 years of age and over.
  2. Nominated riders must not have ridden under rules on the track/point to point in any jurisdiction prior to the event.
  3. Riders must be 12st or under with an allowance of 5lbs for mares.
  4. From the nominees, twenty riders will be selected. There will be sixteen participants and four reserves.
  5. Riders must qualify to ride by passing a charity race one-day competency assessment in January at RACE in Kildare. This will be organised with the riders by Punchestown.
  6. Nominees must be submitted by email with sign off by the trainer whose yard the rider will represent.

Nominations (including name, date of birth, contact number, nominating yard) for riders that meet the above criteria must be submitted by Friday 16th December to Leona Hughes on lhughes@punchestown.com

 **ENDS**

 

 

 

 

Entries for Day 1 Winter Festival 

Entries for Day 2 Winter Festival 

 

 

 

Sebden Steel Reinforce Solid Support at Punchestown

Punchestown racecourse today announced Sebden Steel as an exciting addition to the sponsorship line-up ahead of the 2022 Punchestown Winter Festival, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November.

The Sebden Steel Rated Hurdle over two miles takes place on the opening day of the much anticipated fixture that boasts graded, listed, rated and cross country racing action. The two day Winter Festival is considered an early season highlight that will host seasonal debuts from some of the key players and brightest stars of the game. Action from Punchestown will be televised on RTE, ITV and Racing UK at various stages across the weekend.

Sebden Steel are no strangers to Punchestown and are much valued hospitality clients at the home of Irish jump racing. The 2022 renewal of the Winter Festival sees Sebden further enhance this support as they upgrade to event sponsor status. In addition to entertaining their clients the inaugural running of the Sebden Steel Rated Hurdle will be a centre piece of the occasion. Sebden Steel has grown from its foundation in the 1990’s to become the largest privately owned mill-independent steel processors in Ireland and the UK. The Sebden Steel Group supply a wide range of customers across a variety of sectors from six locations stretching the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland.

Mark McCausland, Managing Director at Sebden Steel explained the background to their involvement; “For a number of years we have enjoyed sharing the Punchestown hospitality experience with our loyal customers and hard-working team. When the opportunity arose to further enhance our involvement through race sponsorship, rather than viewing it as a marketing asset, we felt it would be a worthwhile enhancement to the day itself. Whilst the sponsorship provides a genuine element of brand awareness, it is the inclusion in the event that really appeals and adds to the experience for our clients. This sits well with the value we place on the importance of personal service and client relations”.

Punchestown Partnerships Manager Leona Hughes welcomed the announcement; “It is more than fair to say that Sebden Steel and Punchestown share similar principles when it comes to doing business. There is a strong emphasis on personal relationships, quality service and genuine value. Rather than a company simply sponsoring at Punchestown we consider them event partners who are involved and invested in the occasion. We feel that it is a much more fulfilling and beneficial commercial experience for all parties this way. Sebden Steel have grown to become market leaders in their industry and have huge turnover figures. In this case upgrading to sponsors at Punchestown is not solely a marketing move for them but an enhancement of an existing initiative. We look forward to working with and learning from Mark and the team and wish to take this opportunity to thank them for their significant and continued support at Punchestown”.

The Punchestown Winter Festival gets underway from 12.30pm on Saturday 19th and 11.45am on Sunday 20th November. Off the track and in the enclosures race goers of all ages can look forward to festivities. Young families will welcome the news that The Playroom is back in action with complimentary children’s games, entertainment, face painting and more. For those who may have outgrown the face painting stage a limited number of the popular Punchestown Race & Dine packages remain available. There will be live music and bus transfers after racing each day. Enjoy a €5pp discount and complimentary racecard with advance purchases via www.punchestown.com

Punchestown Winter Festival Quick Guide:

When: Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November 2022
Time: First race/last race 12.30 & 4pm Saturday. 11.45 & 3.50pm Sunday.
Tickets: €15pp in advance includes free racecard on arrival. €20 on the day. Seniors and students can purchase for €15 on the day. Children under 14 years FREE. Visit www.punchestown.com
Make Your Day: Live music and bus service into Naas after racing both days.
Dining: Race & Dine packages in restaurant or private suite from €52pp.
Hay Café and The Feedroom for carvery lunches, light snacks, pastries and barista coffee.
The Playroom – Free indoor child friendly room with games, activities, movie corner, face painting etc. This is not a crèche facility and a parent or guardian must supervise children please.
More: For the best info follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Get the best deals when you sign up to our newsletter. Visit www.punchestown.com or call the team who are happy to help.

ATTENTION!

Moms. Dads. Aunties. Minders. Uncles. Grandads. God Parents. Big sister. Big Bro and more!

Looking for good value ways to entertain the smallies in the house?

Introducing the Punchestown Winter festival

 

Here are the good reasons why you should give it a try!

 

When: Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November 2022

Time: First race/last race 12.30 & 4pm  Saturday. 11.45 & 3.50pm Sunday.

Tickets:  €15pp in advance includes free racecard on arrival. €20 on the day. €10 per adult accompanying young kids (max of 2 per household). Seniors and students can purchase for €15 on the day. Children under 14 years FREE.

Make Your Day: Live music and bus service into Naas after racing both days.

Pre-book Dining: Race & Dine packages in restaurant or private suite from €52pp.

Casual Food Options: Hay Café and The Feedroom for carvery lunches, light snacks, pastries and barista coffee. Child friendly options with mini hot chocolate and portions sized to order for children.

The Playroom – Free indoor child friendly room with games, activities, movie corner, face painting etc. This is not a crèche facility and a parent or guardian must supervise children please.

More: For the best info follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Get the best deals when you sign up to our newsletter.