Wexford County Council welcomed trainers Jim Bolger and Aidan O Brien as Wexford Ambassadors at a special ceremony at the Curragh Racecourse today, Sunday March 23rd.
Both high-profile trainers are proud natives of Co. Wexford, and were formally inducted into the county’s Ambassador Programme, having been considered ‘ideal representatives’.
Councillor John Hegarty, Chairman of the Committee charged with delivering the Ambassador Programme said: “While the county has many assets, none are more significant than the quality of its native people. At home and across the world, in sport, literature, music, media and business, Wexford men and women have achieved significant success, disproportionately, it has to be agreed, to the size of the county. Jim Bolger and Aidan O’Brien are Wexford natives, professional, hugely successful, globally respected and yet very much associated with their home county; we felt were the ideal representatives for the county and what it has to offer.”
The two hugely-successful Irish flat trainers were presented with commemorative pins and crystal pikes, designed by Wexford Artist Fred Curtis to mark the occasion, after the fourth race at the Curragh today. Wexford County Council also held a reception in the Curragh’s Horseshoe Restaurant to honour Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Bolger, with speeches from Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland and Mary Delaney, Head of Equine with Glanbia Agribusiness.
Councillor Ted Howlin, Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, in welcoming the Ambassador event at the Curragh, paid tribute to Mr. Bolger and Mr. O’Brien saying “both men are giants in the racing world and have brought great honour to the county”.
The Council further enhanced the Programme through the Ambassadors bursary, which saw financial bursaries given to apprentice jockey, Ben Dalton (22) and Kenneth O’Connor (16), a student of RACE (Racing Academy Centre of Education), both from Wexford, as an initiative to develop stars of the future.
Councillor Howlin said: “As part of the Wexford Ambassador Programme we’re delighted to award bursaries to two Wexford-born jockeys, one currently studying in the RACE academy at the Curragh and one a recent graduate.”