Ireland’s billion-dollar horse racing industry faces difficulties

By | October 28, 2020

Brexit and the trade and travel barriers it brings are causing concern for horse dealers and trainers in Ireland, where the horse racing industry is tied to Britain.

Earlier this week, a year after the fateful British votes, British and EU officials officially started the first round of negotiations to remove the UK from the bloc. No matter what specific terms the officials agree to, the impact Brexit has on the UK and the region will be huge for an audience ranging from London-based banks to farmers. and horse training in Ireland.

Ireland, with its geographical location outside the European continent, faces the risk that the UK overland route connecting to Europe will be split after Brexit and impede Ireland’s trade activities to the EU market. .

The livestock and horse racing industry contributes more than 1.1 billion USD / year to the Irish economy.

Reuters quoted Henry Beeby, director of Goffs, Ireland’s leading horse trading company. Our worry is that if there are any trade barriers or tariffs on horse carriage between Ireland and the UK, it will have a negative impact.

Thanks to his pure horse, he said he has become an exporter and that we need to be able to export without obstacles or barriers. Two-thirds of the foals born in Ireland each year are exported and 80% of that is exported to the UK.

Horse trainers face similar anxiety. About 10,000 race horses are brought back and forth between Great Britain and Ireland each year. The close proximity and easy maneuver make the Irish horse accessible to major events and with outstanding success. In Cheltenham, Britain’s most famous horse race in March, Irish horses captured 19 of the 28 winners, including the Sizing John Gold Cup winner.

Brian Kavanagh, the head of the Irish horse racing regulator, spoke before parliament about the British and Irish horse racing industry. In fact, they are twins and inseparable industries.

reland, France and the UK – Europe’s three most developed equestrian industries – have agreements that allow horses registered in one country to move freely to the other two without a veterinary examination. Jessica Harrington, the trainer of champion horse Sizing John, recalls the days before 1998, when the frontier was still full of checkpoints and the horses could be held there for hours.

In addition, the current Irish horse owners often take horses across England to enter the European continent, avoiding long distances at sea to go directly from Ireland to Europe. Harrington feared Brexit would obstruct the route through Britain while the horses could not stand being locked up for too long while moving.