Irish Horse Racing 2013 Statistics : Bloodstock, Tote and Attendances Rise

Horse racing Ireland announced their statistics for 2013 this morning and its great reading for the supporters of the industry.

In 2013, bloodstock sales were once again the star performer of the Irish thoroughbred industry. Racecourse attendances returned to growth and the Tote also showed increases across racecourse and off-course operations. The number of horses in training has stabilised but ownership in Ireland is still under pressure.


2013 Sales, Training, Ownership:


  • Bloodstock Sales                     up 43% from €93.5m to €133.4m
  • Export Sales                            up 17.8% from €174.3m to €205.4m
  • Horses in Training                   down 0.4% from 9,238 to 9,199
  • Number of Owners                 down 5.7% from 4,207 to 3,966


Commenting on these figures HRI Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh said: “This is the third consecutive year of double-digit growth in bloodstock sales at public auction in Ireland, which at €133.4 million is now worth more than twice the 2009 figure. This is an accelerating trend which is very good news for the industry as a whole and confirms that the reputation of Irish bloodstock is creating vibrant demand internationally. The horses in training figures have stabilised and are virtually on a par with 2012, after several years of decline, but it remains a challenge to retain and attract new owners.”


The total value of Irish-bred horses exported from this country, through sale at public auction (worldwide) amounted to €205.4m, up 17.8% on the previous year. In 2013 Irish horses were exported to 37 different countries.


Brian Kavanagh continued: “In 2013 Irish-bred and trained horses have once again enjoyed tremendous global success. Irish-bred horses won 9 of the 10 Classics run in Britain and Ireland, two of the Breeders’ Cup races and for the second successive year, Australia’s premier race, the Melbourne Cup. Irish-trained horses captured a record haul of 14 of the 27 races at the Cheltenham Festival, equalled the record of 8 wins at Royal Ascot and achieved a notable first ever triumph in Japan’s most important jumps race.”


2013 Betting:


  • Total Tote Betting                               up 6.5% from €52.2m to €55.6m


  • On-Course Bookmakers                      down 6.9% from €76m to €70.8m
  • On-Course SP Shops                            up 4.9% from €8.3m to €8.7m
  • On-Course Tote Betting                      up 2.2% from €13.9m to €14.2m
  • Total On-Course Betting                   down 4.6% from €98.2m to €93.7m




The Tote’s on-course performance improved, with turnover up by 2.2%, augmented by growth in its off-course performance which saw an overall increase in Tote betting of 6.5%. Bookmaker betting on-course continued to decline, with a fall of 6.9% adding to a cumulative drop in turnover of €134.5m since 2007.


Brian Kavanagh said: “Tote betting showed a return to growth following re-structuring and it is particularly encouraging to see on-course Tote gains in a very challenging market. The bookmakers’ on-course decline continued and is a real concern for the future of the sector. It must be hoped that new betting legislation will create a more level playing field in the betting market.’’


2013 Attendances and Fixtures:


  • Total Attendances                                           up 4% from 1.19m to 1.24m
  • Average Attendances                                      up 4% from 3,413 to 3,548
  • Fixtures                                                           down 0.3% from 350 to 349


Attendance growth of 4% was recorded for total attendances and average attendance per meeting. On a five-year trend, racing is up marginally over 2009 although 18% behind the peak 2007 figure.


Brian Kavanagh commented: “The return to growth in racecourse attendances is very encouraging and is a tribute to the racecourses who have worked hard to retain their customers in difficult times. Throughout the recession they have innovated to hold on to the loyalty of racegoers and HRI will continue to support them in those efforts.’’



2013 Prize-money and sponsorship:


  • Prize-money                                                    Up 2.5% from €44.871m to €45.986m                
  • Commercial Sponsorship                                Up 1.6% from €3.665m to €3.723m                                  


Prize-money showed a modest increase for the second year in succession. HRI has identified improvement in this area as a priority for 2014, in order to stay competitive internationally, retain horses in training and attract new owners. Prize-money in Irish racing will increase by a further 5.6% in 2014, from €45.9m to €48.5m, including an increase in the minimum race value from €7,000 to €7,500.


Brian Kavanagh concluded: “There are many positives in the 2013 figures but we remain acutely aware of the underlying threats to the future of the industry. With overall funding cuts of almost 30% since 2008, we are constrained in our ability to capitalise on the potential for growth in domestic and international markets. Competing racing nations are better resourced and challenging our position. Bloodstock is highly mobile and if we are to attract foreign owners to breed, train and race in Ireland, we must have a racing infrastructure that will stand up to international comparison. Thankfully, the new betting legislation, set to progress early in 2014, represents the first step to a sustainable funding system, which will ensure that racing continues to produce an economic return to the country and that we can re-build employment levels in an industry in which Ireland has great national advantages.’

2013 Irish Thoroughbred Racing Industry Statistics


Number of Fixtures Down 0.3% from 350 to 349
Number of Races Up 0.6% from 2,516  to 2,530
Number of Entries  Down 0.8% from 64,033 to 63,524
Eliminations  Down 17% from 5,880 to 4,878
Total Number of Runners  Up 1.8% from 28,882 to 29,399
Number of Individual Runners  Down 0.9% from 7,176 to 7,114
Number of Individual Winners  Up 2.7% from 1,749 to 1,796
Number of Individual Placed Horses  Up 0.2 % from 3,893 to 3,902
Total Prize-Money  Up 2.5% from €44.871m to €45.986m
Commercial Sponsorship  Up 1.6% from €3.665m to €3.723m
EBF Sponsorship Down  11.9% from €1.786m to €1.573m                          
 Total Attendances  Up 4% from 1,194,509 to 1,238,355
 Average Attendance Up 4% from 3,413 to 3,548
Total On-Course Betting (incl. Tote) Down 4.6% from €98.2m to €93.7m
On-Course Bookmaker Betting  Down 5.8% from €84.3m to €79.5m
> Betting Ring  Down 6.9% from €76m to €70.8m
> On-Course SP Shops Up 4.9% from €8.3m to €8.7m
Total Tote Betting Up 6.5% from €52.2m to €55.6m
> On-Course Tote Up 2.2% from €13.9m to €14.2m
> Off-Course Tote (Irish pools) Up 8.5% from €33.1m to €35.9m
> Off-Course Tote (International pools) Up 5.8% from €5.2m to €5.5m
 Total Number of Owners  Down 5.7% from 4,207 to 3,966
 Number of New Owners  Down  8.7% from 696 to 635
 Total Number of Horses in Training  Down 0.4% from 9,238 to 9,199
 Average Number of Horses in Training  Down 6% from 4846 to 4556
 Bloodstock Sales at Public Auction Up 43% from €93.5m to €133.4m
Value of Irish Foaled Exported Horses Sold Through  Auction Up 17.8% from €174.3m to €205.4m
Number of countries to which Irish Foaled Horses Sold Through Auction were exported No change from 37 to 37
Prize-Money Won in UK by Irish-trained horses Up 38.1% from £6,944m to £9,592m
Prize-Money Won in Rest of World by Irish-trained horses Up 49.2% from €5.571m to €8.311m




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