HRI Announce 2010 Racing Industry Statistics

    HRI today announced their finding after a report into the 2010 Racing Industry. The Report found that racecourse attendances and bloodstock sales last year produced the first hopeful signs for the industry since the downturn began.
    The average attendance at race meetings in 2010 of 3,586 was the same as 2009 and bloodstock sales at €68m were marginally ahead on 2009. These were welcome indicators of levelling-off in an industry which is still feeling the full force of recession.

    Many other key performance figures continued to fall:

    · On-Course Betting down 10% to €164 million

    · Total Prize-Money down 13% to €46 million

    · Race Sponsorship down 17% to €5 million (excluding sales races)

    · Average Horses in Training down 11% to 5,769

    · Total Number of Owners down 9% to 4,667

    · Total Number of New Owners down 13% to 776

    Horse Racing Ireland CEO, Brian Kavanagh said: “2008 was the first year of contraction in the industry in fifteen years and the decline in attendances and bloodstock sales, key markers of the health of the business, accelerated in 2009. I welcome any sign of those trends tailing off. However, this is by no means a recovery, but a positive indication that racing can work its way through the challenges”.

    The level of participation in racing continues to weaken, with new owners down by almost half since 2007, from 1,449 to 776, and total horses in training down from 12,188 to 11,136. This has direct effects on employment in the racing industry, which has already lost thousands of jobs. These trends pose a continuing threat to the skills base which underpins Irish racing’s success.

    Betting on-course declined by a further 10% in 2010, giving an overall drop from €282m in 2007 to €164m in 2010. The on-course betting market is being hit by the fall in disposable income and the trend towards online and off-shore betting.

    Brian Kavanagh continued: “Reduced prize-money due to reduced funding has a negative knock-on effect throughout the industry. 2010 brought a realisation by all parties that online and telephone betting must be levied on an equal basis with the high street shops to ensure a meaningful return to racing. The commitment to introduce that levy has been made by Government and HRI urges progress towards its implementation, to give racing the means to drive real recovery and secure jobs throughout the rural economy”.

    2010 Irish Thoroughbred Racing Industry Statistics

    Number of Fixtures (inc NI)

    Down 3.2% from 345 to 334

    Number of Cancelled Fixtures

    Down 13.2% from 38 to 33

    Number of Races

    Down 2.6% from 2,444 to 2,381

    Number of Entries

    Down 23.5% from 94,673 to 72,459

    Eliminations

    Down 48.0% from 21,928 to 11,356

    Total Number of Runners

    Down 8.0% from 33,240 to 30,590

    Number of Individual Runners

    Down 6.0% from 8,543 to 8,027

    Number of Individual Winners

    Down 3.1% from 1,782 to 1,726

    Number of Individual Placed Horses

    Down 3.7% from 4,103 to 3,951

    Total Prize Money

    Down 13.0% from €52.9m to €46.0m

    > National Hunt
    Down 5.7% from €24.6m to €23.2m

    > Flat

    Down 19.4% from €28.3m to €22.8m*

    Total Race Sponsorship

    Down 33.3% from €7.5m to €5.0m*

    Total Race Sponsorship (excluding sales races)

    Down 16.7% from €6.0m to €5.0m*

    Total Attendances (inc NI)

    Down 3.2% from 1,237,171 to 1,197,654

    Average Attendance

    No change, 3,586 in 2009 & 2010

    Total Betting

    Down 10.0% from €181.8m to €163.6m

    > Tote Betting

    Down 4.0% from €47.8m to €45.9m

    > On-Course Bookmakers

    Down 11.9% from €121.9m to €107.4m

    > On-Course SP Shops

    Down 14.9% from €12.1m to €10.3m

    Total Number of Owners

    Down 8.6% from 5,107 to 4,667

    Number of New Owners

    Down 13.1% from 894 to 776

    Total Number of Horses in Training

    Down 4.3% from 11,638 to 11,136

    Average Number of Horses in Training

    Down 11.0% from 6,483 to 5,769

    Bloodstock Sales at Public Auction

    Up 0.7% from €67.5m to €68.0m

    Point to Point Fixtures

    Up 1.9% from 108 to 110

    Point to Point Races

    Down 11.2% from 923 to 820

    *€3.96m of the €5.5m drop in the total value of flat races in 2010 was due to the discontinuation of the two Goffs Sales races (worth collectively €3.2m) and a significant reduction in the values of the five Classics and Irish Champion Stakes, where the combined prize money fell by €760k. The cessation of the two Goffs Sales races also accounts for a significant element of the reduction in the overall race sponsorship of €2.5m.

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