Tamarisk (‘Tamso’) Doyle joined Horse Racing Ireland in 2002 as PR and promotions manager, later becoming communications director and a member in 2011 of the team responsible for the Group Strategic Marketing Report for the industry.
She enjoyed success with many campaigns and projects, steering HRI through some exciting periods of growth including its first ventures into online territory and its embrace of social media.
On a mission to make the sport more accessible, she was involved with the TV ad campaign that brought Hector Ó’hEochagáin into the horse racing world. She assisted with the production of many TV programmes, including three seasons of ‘Go Racing’ on TV3. Another innovative project was ‘Racing Explained’ with Ella McSweeney – a series of short online videos for a general audience. She also introduced many jockeys and trainers to Facebook and Twitter, including Barry Geraghty and Johnny Murtagh.
On the events side, she helped to organise the Goffs Millions and Ryder Cup race days as well as the first Galway races opening night event – a true magnet for the media. It’s also thanks largely to Tamso that ladies’ days have developed from ‘lovely girls’ competitions into events of mainstream interest. Ladies’ days are now the biggest race days at many tracks; the Listowel event alone attracts up to 27,000 visitors. Many exhibitions and book launches were also masterminded by Tamso during her time at HRI.
The HRI ambassador programme was another big success, featuring Fashion Ambassadors Caroline Morahan, Kathryn Thomas and Karen Koster, Flat Ambassadors Johnny Murtagh and Michael Kinane and National Hunt ambassadors Willie Mullins, Barry Geraghty and Davy Russell who won the Championship that year.
A particular highlight of Tamso’s career has been the annual HRI Awards, which she planned and organised from their inception right up to their ten year anniversary in 2012. The awards have become the most high-profile honours in Irish racing. From the flowers and furnishings to the famous and coveted blue horse trophies, they are an effective showcase for Tamso’s impeccable sense of style.
Tamso bowed out of HRI in April 2013 to set up her own communications and event planning consultancy. Here she uses her PR, marketing, event planning and social networking skills and her many contacts to work within the racing industry as well as exploring other interests in fashion, the arts and beyond.