Racing FX News
Join | Forgot your password?
Baileys Top RightTattersalls Top Right

Latest News

Irish Thoroughbred Industry Statistics

Irish Thoroughbred Industry Statistics

2017 Irish Thoroughbred Industry Statistics

After a year in which Irish-trained horses enjoyed unprecedented success on the track, Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) today announced a positive set of 2017 industry figures.
Nineteen Irish-trained winners at the 2017 Cheltenham festival set the tone for a year of international success, followed by a Melbourne Cup success for 24-year-old trainer Joseph O’Brien, and a world record 28 Group and Grade 1 winners for his father, Aidan.
The industry continued to perform well, with continued growth across bloodstock sales, race sponsorship, Tote Ireland turnover and entries and runners under both codes.
Irish bloodstock sales increased for the seventh consecutive year and exports for the seventh consecutive year. Tote Ireland also experienced a year of growth, with turnover up by over 7%. Commercial sponsorship continued its recovery, growing by another 3%, while European Breeders Fund (EBF) support grew by 15.8%.  Total runners in both codes was up 3.5%.
2017 Sales
•    Bloodstock Sales at Public Auction in Ireland  up 7% from €164.2m to €175.6m
•    Export Sales at Public Auction down 1.8% from €272.9m to €268.1m

HRI Chief Executive, Brian Kavanagh, said:
“2017 represented a seventh consecutive year of growth in sales, with the value of Irish bloodstock sold at public auction being €175.6m, up 7% on the 2016 figures. Irish-bred horses continued to dominate at the highest levels internationally and the value of Irish-foaled exports sold at public auction was €268.1m, with clients from 31 different countries investing in Irish bloodstock.”

Entries and Runners
•    Flat Entries                            up 10.4% from 27,035 to 29,841
•    National Hunt Entries            up 2% from 31,281 to 31,904
•    Total Entries                           up 6% from 58,316 to 61,745
•    Flat Runners                          up 5.7% from 12,801 to 13,529
•    National Hunt Runners          up 1.7% from 16,130 to 16,407
•    Total Runners                         up 3.5% from 28,931 to 29,936
•    Average field size                   up 2.6% from 11.2 to 11.5

Horses-in-Training and Ownership
•    Horses-in-Training                 down 1% from 8,561 to 8,488
•    Active Owners                        up 0.6% from 3,663 to 3,687
•    New Owners                          down 2.7% from 705 to 686    

Brian Kavanagh said:
“Figures for horses in training, active owners and new owners were on a par with 2016, with small dips for horses in training and new owners, and a small increase in active owners. Encouragingly, these figures confirm the increases in 2016 and the strength of the home-based sales in 2017 points towards growth in 2018 and beyond.

“Sole owners and partnerships remain the most popular form of ownership in Ireland, however  syndicates continue to take an increasing share with growth of 5% year-on-year.  Registered racing clubs made a significant jump with a 50% increase in the number of clubs active in 2017.

“The rise in active owners is reflected in increases in  entries and runners for both Flat and National Hunt racing, with the average field size increasing from 11.2 to 11.5 runners overall. In 2017, Flat entries were up by 10.4% and runners by 5.7%, while National Hunt figures also rose, with overall increases in entries (2%) and runners (1.7%).”

2017 Betting
•    Total Tote Betting                     up 7.2% from €96.8m to €103.8m
On-Course Betting
•    Bookmaker Betting (Ring)       down 5.9% from €65.5m to €61.6
•    On-Course SP Shops              down 4.8% from €10.4m to €9.9m
•    On-Course Tote Betting           down 8.7% from €12.7m to €11.6m
•    Total On-Course Betting          down 6.2% from €88.6m to €83.1m

Brian Kavanagh said:
“On-course betting (Tote and Bookmakers) declined by 6.2%, reflecting the continuing challenge being experienced by all on-course operators.
“In 2017 Tote Ireland saw a seventh successive year of turnover growth. Revenue grew 7.2% from €96.8m to €103.8m in the year. This growth was driven by betting into Irish pools (up 9.5%) and international pools (up 11.1%).

"All profits from Tote Ireland's operation go directly back in to benefit Irish racing and Tote Ireland sponsored races at nine different racecourses in 2017, the highlight being Galway Plate.  The loss of business in Israel at the end of 2017 will see an impact on turnover in 2018."

2017 Attendances and Fixtures
•    Total Attendances                 down 3% from 1.32m to 1.28m
•    Average Attendances           down 2.8% from 3,692 to 3,589

Brian Kavanagh said:
“The attendance figures reflect the reduced numbers at the Curragh, in particular the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and day two of the Longines Irish Champions Weekend. We look forward to the completion of the redevelopment in 2019, when the Curragh  will have facilities to match the world class action on the track.
“Attendances at the major jumps festivals in the first six months of 2017 were very strong, highlighted by Punchestown’s Spring Festival, which attracted a record attendance of 122,557.”

2017 Prize-money and Sponsorship

•    Prize-money                            up 7.6% from €56.8m to €61.1m
•    Commercial Sponsorship       up 3% from €4.8m to €4.94m
•    EBF Sponsorship                    up 15.8% from €1.71m to €1.98m

Brian Kavanagh said:
“Prize-money grew by 7.6% to €61.1m with a further increase of €2.2m (3.6%) budgeted for 2018.  HRI remains committed to increasing prize-money to remain competitive with our European counterparts and to attract and retain racehorse owners in Ireland. To that end we increased minimum race values in 2017, with the increases flowing to races where most owners were competing. Competitive options for lower-tier National Hunt horses trialled successfully in the summer of 2017 and will continue into the spring of 2018 and beyond.
“Despite significant gains in 2016, we saw further growth in commercial sponsorship in 2017.  This upward trend is very encouraging and shows that confidence in horse racing’s appeal as an advertising and promotional vehicle for business is strong.”

Brian Kavanagh commented:
 “2017 will be committed to the memory as a  stellar year for Irish racing. An extraordinary 19 Irish-trained winners at Cheltenham was a testament to the skill and horsemanship in our industry, as well as the significant investment and trust placed in those skills by owners and breeders.
“Irish horsemen and women are setting standards, and nowhere was that more evident than in the autumn of 2017 when, after an incredible year, Aidan O’Brien beat Bobby Frankel’s world record for Group and Grade 1 winners trained in a calendar year, establishing a new record of 28 winners. These achievements, as well as Joseph O’Brien’s Melbourne Cup success in November with Rekindling, greatly enhanced the reputation of our racing industry.
“The sector is facing a series of challenges in the areas of funding, infrastructure, staffing and in particular Brexit and Horse Racing Ireland is engaging with Government, stakeholders and our international counterparts on these matters. We have great ambition to build on the growth and success of 2017 and look forward to engaging with the industry on these plans.”

Brian Kavanagh concluded:
 “Horse racing generates a very significant return to the rural economy in Ireland and positive international profile for our country. The Sports Business Group at Deloitte, in their report into the Economic Impact of Irish Breeding and Racing 2017, published in September, estimated that the industry contributes €1.84bn to the Irish economy, supporting directly and indirectly, almost 29,000 jobs. Despite our size, we are the third biggest producers of thoroughbred foals in the world and estimates place Ireland only behind the United States as the biggest seller of bloodstock by public auction globally.
“None of this success could be achieved without the support provided by Government through the Horse and Greyhound Fund which is much appreciated.” 


2017 Irish Thoroughbred Racing Industry Statistics

  2017 2016    Variance
Bloodstock sales at public auction €175.6m €164.2m 7%
Value of Irish-foaled exported horses sold through  auction €268.1m €272.9m -1.80%
Number of countries to which Irish-foaled 31 36 -14%
horses sold through auction were exported
Fixtures 357 356  
Races 2,606 2,577 1.10%
Total Entries 61,745 58,316 6%
Flat Entries 29,841 27,035 10.40%
National Hunt Entries 31,904 31,281 2%
Eliminations 4,666 3,266 43%
Total runners 29,936 28,931 3.50%
Flat Runners 13,529 12,801 5.70%
National Hunt Runners 16,407 16,130 1.70%
Individual runners 7,000 7,014  
Individual winners 1,821 1,806 1%
Individual placed horses 4,224 4,013 5.20%
Field sizes 11.5 11.2 2.60%
Total horses-in-training 8,488 8,561 -1%
Average horses-in-training 4,181 4,154 0.60%
Total owners 3,687 3663 0.60%
New owners 686 705 -2.70%
Total Prize-Money €61.1m €56.8m 7.60%
Prize-money won in UK by Irish-trained horses £13.04m £15.33m -15%
Prize-money won in rest of world by Irish-trained horses €11.48m €10.72m 7.10%
Commercial sponsorship €4.94m €4.8m 3%
EBF sponsorship €1.98m €1.71m 15.80%
Total attendances 1.28m 1.32m -3%
Average attendance 3,589 3,692 -2.80%
*Off-Course Betting Duty Receipts €52.2m €50.7m 3%
Total on-course betting (incl. Tote) €83.1m €88.6m -6.20%
On-course bookmaker betting €71.5m €75.9m (5.8%)  
> Betting ring €61.6m €65.5m -5.90%
> On-course SP shops €9.9m €10.4m -4.80%
Total Tote betting €103.8m €96.8m 7.20%
> On-course Tote €11.6m €12.7m -8.70%
> Off-course Tote (Irish pools) €86.2m €78.7m 9.50%
> Off-course Tote (International pools) €6.0m €5.4m 11.10%
*As betting duty is collected quarterly in arrears, this provision does not reflect the calendar year

Search the Archives

recent news story
Six UK point-to-points took place over the weekend with 17 former Irish runners in the winners enclosure.
recent news story
The Dermot McLoughlin-trained Thunderosa will hope to register his second career success for his connections.
recent news story
Check out the Point-to-Point Weekly, the free point-to-point supplement in today's Racing Post.
recent news story
The At The Races Hunters Chase at Fairyhouse has attracted a competitive entry of nine, with six of the initial entries already winners this season.
recent news story
It was a red letter day for 18yo James Murphy who was in the winners enclosure at Punchestown on Sunday.
recent news story
Eugene O'Sullivan's former charge ran out a 64-length winner of the Grade 3 feature at Clonmel.
recent news story
Former Irish Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Tied Cottage took the Barber Cup at Castletown-Geoghegan.
recent news story
Former Grade one winner Morning Assembly is in a race against time in his bid to gain qualification for the Foxhunters at next month's Cheltenham Festival.
recent news story
The Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham February Sale saw a record price for a five-year-old point-to-point winner at 410,000.
recent news story
Last year's Punchestown Champion Hunter Chase winner is bidding to return to Prestbury Park
recent news story
Follow all the action from the Tattersalls Cheltenham sales ring as the first 4yo Pointers of the year come under the hammer.
recent news story
Sean Doyle's impressive Ballinaboola winner who topped the Cheltenham sales made an impressive bumper debut.
recent news story
Pierce Power's leading fancy continues to impress with gallant second.
recent news story
The Stonehall Harriers meeting on Sunday 4th March will now run with the Lemonfield programme of races.
recent news story
There have been a number of weather related fixture changes announced.
recent news story
The recent Tinahely maiden winner was competing in the famous cross country race over the weekend.
recent news story
Farmacaffley House will once again be host to the Tynan & Armagh Hunt point to point on Saturday February 24th, with the first race off at 1 pm.
recent news story
Both Killaloe and Kilmallock have been cancelled this Spring.
recent news story
The successful Wexford-based handler passed away on Wednesday evening.
recent news story
Entries for the St.James's Place Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival close on the 27th February.
recent news story
'Pints After The Points' has been orgainsed after racing at Tyrella on the 3rd March in aid of the Jonjo Bright Trust Fund.
recent news story
The latest addition to is now available, which will allow supporters to follow the declarations each weekend.
recent news story
Irish Point-to-Pointers continued to reach new records in the sales ring with 19 selling for over six figures.
recent news story
We take a look back at some of the leading Open and Hunter Chase horses from the Autumn campaign.
recent news story
Novice riders enjoyed a succesful Autumn with eight riders recording their first winners.
recent news story
During the Autumn we saw 35 new four-year-old winners with some already making a name for themselves on the race track.
recent news story
As part of our Autumn 17 highlights series, the focus turns to those stallions doing the business in points
recent news story
Fifteen Hunter Chases are due to be run this Spring from January until April.
recent news story
Our latest initiative to promote attendances at point-to-points is now live.
recent news story
Click here to view the 2018 Spring Point to Point fixture list which has just been released.
P2P Clothing
ITMEU SIFPEuropean UnionOfig Fiontair Aitiuil
© Irish Point to Point Services Ltd, 2014. All rights reserved. Grangeclare West, Kilmeague, Naas, Co Kildare
Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy
Hosting and Development by HostIreland
Racing FX News