Thursday, November 20, 2008Contact: Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive HRI
Irish racing adjusts budget

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) announced a series of budgetary measures for 2009. These are in response to the challenging economic environment and the reduction in funding to the industry announced in Budget 2009. The measures include:
  • Prize Money to be reduced by 7%
  • Short term suspension of Racecourse Capital Development Programme
  • Pay Freeze for 10 Months
  • Operating Costs to be reduced by €1.3 million
  • Breeders Prize Scheme discontinued

    HRI’s Chief Executive, Brian Kavanagh stated: “Irish racing and breeding has shown consistent growth in recent years. Today Ireland’s breeding industry is the third largest in the world and Irish trained horses have won two thirds of the Group 1 flat races run in Britain and Ireland this year. Central to this growth and success has been the long term security of funding provided by the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund”.

    The Irish horse racing and breeding industry employs over 16,500 people directly and indirectly and 1.5 million people go racing in Ireland every year.

    Brian Kavanagh continued: “While cutbacks are regrettable, they are unavoidable in the current climate. An improvement in the economic environment and the continuation of secure, long term funding are central to a return to growth in the industry. HRI is already working with Government to achieve this aim and in particular to ensure the resumption of the Racecourse Capital Development Programme as soon as possible”.