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Leona Hughes Final Blog

Leona Hughes signs off at Irish Thoroughbred Marketing
14-August-17
Leona Hughes Final Blog

Growing up I always wanted to work for Irish Thoroughbred Marketing (ITM). I thought that
it was a great way to spread my love for the Industry here in Ireland through promoting it to
others across the world. When Kerry rang me to tell me that ITM were willing to take me on,
I was over the moon as I was now able to fulfil one of my childhood dreams and get the
chance to work within a highly influential organisation.
I started at ITM on Monday the 22 nd May, just in time for the Goresbridge Breeze-Up Sales.
My job at ITM was to help out with maternity cover. This involved taking hotel bookings,
contacting clients regarding trips to Irish Sales and Race days along with also helping out
with committee meetings and general office duties.
ITM offer an Inward Buyers Scheme (IBP) which is an incentive for overseas and foreign
buyers to come to Ireland and purchase their future stars. An IBP is a monetary sum of
money in which buyers can avail of in order to help with the costs of their trip to Ireland to
Irish horse sales and private purchases. I was taught how to process the applications, match
up all the details needed and then enter the applications into the system where they are then
sent up to the accounts department to be issued. I loved doing the IBP’s as it was interesting
to see the amount of people who come to Ireland to buy the best of stock and who really
appreciate the work that ITM do to influence foreign purchasers.
The most daunting thing for me when starting at ITM was learning how to work the
‘Purchase Order’ (PO) system. This is a system whereby you must raise a PO for everything
that you intend to buy. As a semi-state organisation, HRI and it’s subsidiaries must go
through this process to ensure that all money spent is spent in an adequate and correct
manner. During my training of the PO system I was told that to raise a PO is to create a
promise of money, the PO must be set up on the day of intended purchase. The reason why I
was a little bit nervous of this element of my placement is that, as stated above, everything
has to be correctly spent and accounted for and if not done correctly, it could cause a lot of
hassle for not only myself but for the accounts department too who have to process the
payments and deal with the invoices.
Currently, I have one month left on my placement and it will be busy as the August NH Sale
is on at Tattersalls Ireland. There are also a lot of trips coming up for all of the executives
going to promote the yearling sales so the office will be busy also.

I had a great time here at Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and the people within it were great at
helping me with advice for my future career after this placement is over. Charles would often
call me in for a chat and help me out with future options within HRI and also further afield
giving me the best of advice.
I am very lucky in the places that I have worked and the people that I have met. I would like
to thank BBA Ireland, Punchestown Racecourse and Irish Thoroughbred Marketing for
giving me a truly influential year that I genuinely think you couldn’t have paid to experience.
I have learnt so much within my time as an ITBA Next Generation Apprentice and would
highly recommend it to anyone so thank you also to the ITBA Next Generation Experience
Committee. Next up for me is a quick stint in BBA to help out with the yearling sales and
then on to Punchestown starting full time and getting into gear for an even bigger and better
festival 2018.

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