The official website of Irish Harness Racing Association

The Board of Directors of the IHRA would like to reassure all concerned that issues being raised on social media that there is some inherient agreement or policy in place with regards to the continued support for pacing races and breeding of pacers in Ireland are completely without foundation. The continuous feed of misinformation by non-members of the IHRA is damaging in the extreme and needs to be curtailed.

In the last five years prize money for pacing races has increased year on year based on the number of horses in racing and total money on offer has more than doubled over that period of time. Unlike the Trotter Francais program it is difficult to envisage major improvements in the pacer sector without some external source of funding. The IHRA has completed a 5 year strategic plan which has been approved by the Department of Agriculture officials and is currently with the Minister for his consideration. This plan deals comprehensively with all aspects of the development on this industry including both Pacers & Trotters.

The IHRA is approved by the Department of Agriculture as the passport issuing organisation for the Standardbred breed in Ireland since 2016 and to date has registered approximately 120 pacer foals born in 2016 and a further 120 born in 2017, whilst the 2018 figures are not yet complete there are no indications of any major changes for this period. The IHRA operates a separate Stud Book for Trotters and has registered 32 Trotter foals born in 2017 and a further 26 foals born in 2018. A concerted effort is being made by a small number of breeders to develop this sector and as we are starting from a low base there is room for major expansion, a successful racing industry has to be underpinned by a successful breeding industry.

2019 promises to be another record year with an expectation that prize money levels will exceed the €750,000 barrier

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