Paddy Power & Deirdre O’Kane tackle discrimination against white trainers

“Trainers have a vital role to play in the world of horse racing.”


We’ve teamed up with Deirdre O’Kane to tackle the contentious issue of discrimination against ‘trainers’ at horse racing meetings.

The tongue-in-cheek move follows the news that two well-dressed female racegoers were refused entry to an expensive enclosure at Sandown racetrack last weekend…for wearing white trainers.

The UK venue came under fire and was forced to publicly state it review its dress code policy after the patrons were turned away for wearing what onlookers described as “the cleanest white trainers you’ll ever see”.

So, as the main sponsors of racing at today’s Punchestown Festival, we’ve taken a stand for casually dressed punters, reminding fans that they, and their trainers, are welcomed at Irish racecourses and were celebrated as they arrived to enjoy the action at the Kildare track today.

Comedian Deirdre O’Kane, famed for wearing trainers during her stand-up routines on TV, joined them in calling for justice for the ‘Sandown 2’ from the track today where she was photographed wearing a bespoke custom-made hat created by Marinot Millenary.

O’Kane explained, “trainers play a vital role in the world of horse racing, and that needs to be recognised.”

“Fans love to see a good runner at the track. But unlike some racecourses, that statement rings true on both sides of the rails in Punchestown, where all are welcomed with open arms, regardless of how they’re shod…even on Ladies Day.”

“Instead of turning punters away, we want to let it be known that we embrace those who dare to wear sensible footwear,” she added.

To further highlight the injustice that occurred at Sandown, we cheekily erected a sign at Punchestown’s entrance which read: “ALL TRAINERS WELCOME. JUSTICE FOR THE SANDOWN TWO.”




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