We are delighted that the Irish Racehorse Experience has won the 2022 THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement from the US-based Themed Entertainment Association. Only 3 European attractions made the global list of 2022 THEA award recipients. 

This award follows the 2022 Museums + Heritage Award and the IRE's first recognition at the Irish IDI Awards 2021 for Best Experience Design.

Cathal Beale - CEO 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 THEA award and for the recognition it gives to The Irish Racehorse experience as a significant addition to our world class tourism offering”.

About the experience

Irish thoroughbreds are considered the fastest race horses in the world. The Irish National Stud & Gardens is located in the Irish town of Tully in Kildare. Thoroughbred horses have been bred here since the 1900s.

The unique Irish Racehorse Experience has recently been built on the breeding grounds. This 600m2 experience tells the story of this extraordinary breed and the equestrian sport in Ireland.

Indoor position tracking

Every visitor in the experience receives a tablet, which will track the visitor’s position through all the rooms with an accuracy of 20 cm. When a visitor approaches a movie or interactive, the tablet is synced and automatically plays the voice-over and music in one of the 6 selected languages. For the hearing impaired, the transcription in the correct language is also shown on the tablet.

Buy your own racehorse!

The experience shows the development of a racehorse, from birth to the moment it is used in the races. In addition to the compelling stories about the selection and training of both horses and jockeys, visitors also play the Racehorse Game.

Through the personal tablet each visitor buys a 1 year old 'Yearling' in the famous Irish auction hall 'Goffs' (an immersive projection room of this historic auction hall).

Throughout the game you have to make choices about nutrition, trainers, training and which jockey the horse will ride. All these choices ultimately determine how fast your horse is. And all this comes together in 'The Big Race' where the visitors ride a race against other visitors in an imax-like setting, complete with mechanically moving horses, wind, sound design, dynamic commentary and a life-size projection of the race on a famous Irish circuit.

Real-time analytics

The position tracking system generates real-time analytics. Via a control screen at the reception, staff have an exact view of where the visitors are in the experience. In this way, employees can respond precisely to busy moments and guide the visitors through the experience.

MCW was responsible for all content, films, animations, game design, programming and simulation of the total exhibit. All graphic panels were also designed by MCW.

Realization: 2021

Client: Irish National Stud & Gardens

Design: DMW creative in collaboration with MCW / creative agency

Main contractor: Hypsos

Project management, engineering and realization: Heijmerink Wagemakers

AV content, interactive game design and print: MCW / creative agency

AV hardware: Hypsos Red Trees