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Are There Enough Sponsors of P2P Racing?

Every year, the Irish P2P horse racing scene brings us more top-class Irish racehorses. It’s safe to say it’s a conveyor belt of superior National Hunt talent. In fact, between October 2017 and May 2018 alone, 1,236 races across Ireland and Britain were won by horses that started out in the Irish P2P fields.

With interest in the sport growing at a phenomenal rate, it begs the question: are there really enough consistent sponsors of P2P racing? To date, we’ve seen many one-off sponsors of big events, but is that enough to carry the sport, or should we be seeing more regular sponsorships throughout the horse racing season?

One-Off Sponsorships Common in P2P

Back in 2015, Mountain Warehouse were the primary sponsors of the Anglo-Irish Challenge. Held at Chaddesley Corbett in May 2015, the meeting was dubbed The Mountain Warehouse Anglo Irish Challenge. It saw teams from around Ireland and Britain competing head-to-head for the third year in a row. 2015 differed in that it was the first time the meeting was held in Britain, with it also being a first for Irish riders to compete in Britain with rider’s certificates acquired in Ireland.

While Mountain Warehouse was the main sponsor of the P2P event, there was an impressive list of other sponsors, including Bissel Wood Equestrian, David Dennis Racing and The Jockey Club, amongst others.

Why Sponsorship Matters

But we’re not seeing the same brands sponsoring meetings year in and year out. It’s unfortunate since it’s a phenomenal way for businesses to get their names out there while promoting P2P racing.

Sponsors of meetings get to be part of a sport that Ireland is a world leader in. A partnership with the races provides sponsors with the chance to be part of a great experience. Committees are proud to benefit from the support of their sponsors, who help to maintain the success of these exciting events for racegoers and competitors alike.

Sponsorship isn’t just about boosting funding within the sport, it’s got a great deal to do with visibility. Take charity events held by lotteries as an example, especially within Ireland. The Irish Lotto sponsors lesser-known events like lawn bowls and wheelchair rugby to bring awareness to sports that get a boost from sponsorships and funding. When you play Lotto at Lottoland, funds from lottery ticket sales go towards such important sponsorships, bringing more awareness and visibility to the array of talent and sports Ireland has to offer.

It’s clear to see that the value of sponsorship shouldn’t be underestimated. In fact, it’s safe to say there is not yet enough sponsors in the P2P racing world, and it would be nice to see more regular sponsors at meetings throughout the season instead of one-off sponsorships from time to time. Ireland has an incredible talent pool of jockeys and horses alike, and bringing more awareness to P2P racing in the form of sponsorships can go a long way to building the sport.

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