Issue 8 2023

Issue 8 2023, Acquisition International | 41 Best Corporate Hospitality & Entertainment Business Leader 2023 (UK & Ireland): Emma Meehan-McCoy e can trace the origins of Down Royal Racecourse back to the 17th century. The first officially recorded race meeting took place in 1685. A venue for chariot races, the course later evolved into a more formal horse racing venue. Quick to gain popularity as a prominent horse racing destination in Ireland, Down Royal attracted spectators and racing enthusiasts from near and far. Despite political unrest and economic challenges through the centuries, apart from a few temporary closures, Down Royal has prevailed. In 1998, the racecourse underwent significant redevelopment. Facilities were modernised to enhance the racing experience of both participants and spectators. One of the course’s most prestigious races is the Ladbrokes Champion Chase. Taking place in November each year, the race is an essential fixture on the National Hunt Calendar. Attracting top-class horses and jockeys from around the world, in 2022 the winner was Envoi Allen, ridden by Rachael Blackmore, the first female jockey to win the Grand National. When the four-time winner of the race, Ruby Walsh, described the course he said, “Down Royal is a big, galloping track which is almost two miles in the round. There’s a downhill run from three furlongs out to the furlong pole and you need to be on a really good stayer to win here.” The job of running the well-loved course falls to CEO, Emma Meehan-McCoy. Former Sales and Marketing Manager of horse and greyhound racing venue, Dundalk Stadium, Emma is well-qualified to ensure the wheels of Down Royal run like a well-oiled machine. With over 15 years in the industry, Emma understands the necessity of diversifying revenue streams to ensure business continuity. Working closely with her team, Emma ensures that all aspects of racecourse operations run smoothly. Acting as the primary point of contact for key stakeholders, Emma’s role relies on her effective communication and relationship management skills. Coordinating and hosting events throughout the year, Emma’s multi-faceted role relies on her strong leadership, business acumen and passion for the sport. Over recent years, UK racecourses have branched out into other areas of corporate hospitality and entertainment and Down Royal is no exception. The move provides essential revenue during the downtime between racing seasons and off-peak periods. As part of its programme of entertainment, in September, Down Royal welcomes Frankie Dettori MBE. One of the most decorated sportsmen of all time, with over 3,000 race wins to his name, Frankie is sure to delight the audience with his humorous anecdotes and fun-loving personality. Down Royal Racecourse also provides an impressive list of hospitality packages. Gourmet buffets and menus, premium suites and private viewing balconies enhance the experience of race-goers and make an impression that lasts. For further information, or to buy tickets for upcoming events, please visit the Down Royal Racecourse website. Contact: Emma Meehan-McCoy Company: Down Royal Racecourse Web Address: Down Royal Racecourse (Down Royal), near Lisburn, is Northern Ireland’s only Grade 1 racing venue. Featuring both National Hunt and Flat Racing circuits, the course has a rich history. As one of the oldest racecourses in Ireland, Down Royal plays a significant role in Irish horseracing culture. In 2019, Emma Meehan-McCoy became Down Royal’s Chief Executive Officer, and she has since carved a name for herself as a conscientious and energetic leader. We take a look at the racecourse and its history in detail. W Jun23237