A government TD has said that the entire National Hunt breeding industry will be ‘severely impacted’ by the current suspension of point-to-point racing, with no racing between the flags having taken place since December 20.
Jackie Cahill, a Fianna Fail TD for Tipperary, raised the issue during Thursday’s sitting of the Dáil after the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine last week instructed that point-to-point racing would not be included in the category of professional and elite sports permitted to continue behind closed doors.
“Last week, point-to-point racing was removed as an elite sport. This will have serious implications for our world-renowned national hunt industry,” said Deputy Cahill.
“What plans for a financial rescue package are in place? Our whole national hunt breeding industry will be severely impacted. Point-to-point racing is the shop window for selling the majority of our national hunt young horses.
“This will have a severe impact on all sales during the summer for three-year-olds down to yearlings and foals. There are severe financial implications for the whole national hunt industry.
“What plans are in place by the Government regarding financial rescue for our national hunting industry?”
In response, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, who was representing the government during the Dáil sitting said:
“I know this is an issue of real concern to the Deputy. It has been raised with me by others as well.
“I do not know if there are any plans at present for financial packages for the industry. I will ask the Minister to personally come back to the Deputy in detail, however.”
If you would like to contact your local Dáil representative about the current suspension of point-to-point racing, contact details can be found here