CAROLINE WALSH, Business Manager, PM Advertising
As part of a new series, we asked a number of people not born into racing families why they got into the sport, and what their first racing memory was.
Why did you get involved in the sport?
Honestly, I was a little girl who had a lot of energy and loved horses. I grew up in Dublin city without any kind of horse background. My cousin, Sarah, paved the way for me by convincing my parents to let me take riding lessons. Through sheer luck, this unrealistically brave 10-year-old wound up at Crossogue Stud in Tipperary where I was introduced to Mark Molloy’s string of National Hunt horses. He was kind enough to indulge an enthusiastic kid, and I spent pretty much every vacation for the next decade either jumping cross country or on the gallop.
My first introduction to the equine industry in the U.S. came in 2010 through an internship at Ashford Stud. That’s where I caught the bug for good. I returned the following year, this time to Castleton Lyons, and from there landed a spot in the Godolphin Flying Start program. I have been fortunate to meet many people who were willing to give me an opportunity, and I’m very grateful. Eight years later, Lexington, Ky., is my home. I got involved in the industry because of the horses and I have stayed in the business because of the people.
What is your earliest racing memory?
Going racing in Galway in the summer. I was very young, but I remember the buzz. Ireland has a lot of great racing festivals, and Galway is one of the most iconic. My first experience in America was the Keeneland Spring meet, so I’ve been spoiled on both sides of the Atlantic.