Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) today announced the 2018 Irish horse racing and breeding industry figures which confirmed a continuing trend towards racehorse ownership in Ireland.
New owner registrations were up 16.2% year-on-year with almost 800 new owners registering with Horse Racing Ireland. This contributed to another increase in horses-in-training in the country.
On the track 2018 was a successful year for Irish racing with 17 Irish-trained winners at the Cheltenham Festival and Irish-trained horses filling five of the first six places in the Aintree Grand National, including the winner Tiger Roll. On the Flat, Aidan O’Brien won three of the five English Classics.
The industry continued to perform well, though bloodstock sales struggled to keep pace with recent strong returns, with Brexit uncertainty clearly impacting investment. Accordingly the gains made in 2017 were reversed in 2018, becoming the first time in nine years that bloodstock sales at public auction in Ireland did not post an increase.
Commercial race sponsorship continued to rise strongly, growing by another 5.3% in 2018, while Irish European Breeders Fund (EBF) support grew by 11.1%.
Horses-in-Training and Ownership
|New Owners||up 16.2% from 686 to 797|
|Total Owners||up 3.5% from 3,687 to 3,817 |
|Horses-in-Training ||up 2.4% from 8,488 to 8,688|
HRI Chief Executive, Brian Kavanagh, said:
“Increasing ownership was one of the main priorities for Horse Racing Ireland in 2018 so it is pleasing to see that strategy pay off with significant increases in the number of new owners, total owners and the consequent increase in horses-in-training. This will be felt by trainers all over the country with syndicate ownership rising 33% year-on-year. Owner retention is over 73%, the highest rate it has been since 2007.
“The rise in owners is reflected in an increase in horses-in-training and increases in entries and runners for both Flat and National Hunt racing. Unseasonal quick ground this winter has impacted on the number of National Hunt runners (down 3.3%) but on the Flat it was an increase of 3.7% year-on-year.”
To read the full 2018 Industry Statistics click here.