The official website of Irish Harness Racing Association

DAFM 2020 Equine Technical Support Grant

The IHRA has received confirmation of further funding through Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine’s Equine Technical Support & Equine Breeding Schemes Project for 2020. The total funding received by the Department is €35,146 for specific projects outlined in our submissions earlier this year.

The first of which is the upgrading of our current IHRA website to encompass new features such as access for our members to our studbook, a results database incorporating our Lynx photo-finish software and an online payments page for race entries and stakes races.

The IHRA also received funding towards the RDS Dublin Horse Show Information stand. The show, this year in July, allows the IHRA to promote the sport and our breed to a wider audience and has been very successful for the industry since we joined the tradeshow arena with our fellow Horse Sport Ireland affiliates.

The largest part of funding is towards integrity of the sport, with €28,420 being allocated by DAFM, and added to our original spend for this sector, gives the Integrity & Welfare Committee a budget of €55,000 for the forthcoming season. As part of this budget, the IWC, intends to increase the number of post samples to over 300 and pre samples to 400 and all confirmatory analysis of samples will be sent to LCH in Paris. Further to race day pre and post integrity sampling, the IWC will expand on their testing procedures into the out of competition testing sector of the sport. This will involve the visit of IHRA stewards and a veterinary surgeon to carry out tests and inspect the animals onsite, in several licenced premises on a random basis. This will help ensure that all mares and stallions are consistently performing on their own merits outside of the racetrack and will uphold their standards at the racetrack also. The WTA (World Trotting Association), with which the Irish Harness Racing Association is a member have vowed to increase the number of out of competition testing and it is the Irish Harness Racing Association’s ambition from 2020 to deliver on this pledge and uphold the international agreement taken on these tests.

This increase in our integrity budget will provide stability and grow confidence in our breed. It will allow for more stallions to stand at stud, more mares to be covered and more foals and yearlings being born and more horses to be trained. It will help protect our sport and our horse for future generations going forward. 


Portmarnock Raceway

Due to the most recent Covid -19 HSE guidelines and restrictions Portmarnock Raceway is closed with immediate effect and until further notice for all racing and workout related activity with the exception of horses stabled on site.

Any persons found in breach of this ruling will be subject to penalty

Covid 19 Update

The IHRA sub committees met over the weekend and have decided to postpone the opening date of the 2020 season to Sunday 3rd May. This decision was made to protect the safety and well being of all our members and stakeholders. The committee’s will continue to meet on a weekly basis to discuss matters arising from harness racing and will continue to review the opening date.

We are confident that we will resume racing on Sunday 3rd May, provided no further restrictions will be put in place by the HSE. 

Entries will open online on Sunday 19th April and to ensure a smooth flow within the office, we would like to remind all trainers and owners to please send in a copy of your flu vaccinations to us in the coming days. along with completing the online licence renewal form which is available in our online forms section of the website, which is located on the left hand side of the home page.

Further to protect our staff, the IHRA office will close today, 24th March until further notice. However Donna will be contactable via email and telephone (10am -11.30am) each day. Any applications relating studbook matters or general post will not be dealt with until our staff  are safe to return to the office and the HSE restrictions are lifted.

For any further updates, please check both our website and social media platforms. 


IHRA Notice

Following an IHRA Racecourse Committee conference call and it light of the HSE Covid-19 guidelines currently in place it has been decided to defer the opening meeting scheduled for Sunday 29th March at Portmarnock by one week to Sunday 5th April. 


This opening date will be subject to an ongoing review based on the evolving situation taking into account any new guidelines as determined by the HSE and it may be necessary to impose operating restrictions based on whatever guidelines apply at the time of opening.


Based on the current assumption of the opening meeting taking place on Sunday 5th April entries will open on Monday 23rd March and close on Thursday 26th March, only horses that are compliant with the 28 day trainer declaration and for which a current flu vac scheduled has been submitted to the IHRA Office are eligible for entry, equally the associated owners, trainers & drivers will have to be fully licensed for the 2020 season to be eligible to compete.


The newly purchased Trotteur Francais racehorses following the recent Le Trot sale will be eligible subject to an online trainer declaration being completed by Friday 20th March.


Declared Horses in Training 2020

The IHRA would like to thank all trainers who have currently declared their horses in training. Over 200 horses have been declared to date.

Over the coming week, the IHRA will contact each trainer regarding copies of flu vaccinations and licence renewals. 

All trainers are requested to fill out the Annual Licence Renewal form which can be found here

Any remaining trainers who have not yet declared their horses in training will not be cleared to race for a period of 28 days following their declaration.

Final Reminder for Trainer Declarations

Thank you to those who have went online to registered their Horses in Training. We have now over 160 Horses declared in Training to date and the IHRA office will be contacting each Trainer individually about flu vacs if they are out of date in the coming days.

Any Trainer who has not declared your Horse in Training needs to do so immediately.

At this stage Horses not declared are not eligible to take part in the upcoming Qualifying days on 15th & 22nd of March in Portmarnock.

Trainers  have until next Friday the 28th of February to declare their horses in training, to be eligible to compete at our first race day at Portmarnock the 29th March. 

Any horse declared after this time will be fined €50 and will not be cleared to race for 28 days thereafter.

Three Year Old Trot Championship 2020

Three Year Old Trot Championship 2020
Total series worth €100,000
Finals €50,000
Gold – Silver – Consolation 
Ten Qualifying Days
6 Portmarnock 
2 Cork
2 Annaghmore 
All Races over 1.5 Miles, regular entry fee.
Heats PFA – based on grades 
Finals  FFA – Gold – Highest Eight Handicapped Horses will be in Gold and work down after that with Monies won deciding Horses on same Handicap
Same for Silver and Consolation – if there are not enough horses to fill two races of 8, the number for the silver and consolation will be divided; if an uneven number the silver will take the higher number.
Championship will Start in May in Portmarnock with dates announced shortly 
Qualifying times for  3yo trotters 2.20

APPRENTI SORCIER will stand in Ireland for 2020 season

IHRA are pleased to announce that following a recent visit to the Stallion exhibition Salon Du Trot in Normandy by a delegation from the Breeding Committee together with Emmanuelle Morvilliers from Le Trot International department, we have secured a lease agreement for a Trotteur Francais Stallion to stand a stud in Ireland for the 2020 breeding season.
APPRENTI SORCIER (2010 x Love You – Queen of Viking)
Record: 1’11’’0 harness & 1’12’’0 monte.
93 progeny registered to date with
7 of his 2017 1 st generation progeny qualified in 2019 as two year olds (22%) in 1’19’’ plus.

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