Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is the national authority for thoroughbred racing in Ireland with responsibility for the governance, development and promotion of the industry under the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act 2001.
As a commercial semi-state body HRI, through its board, reports to the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine. This reporting line reflects the importance of Ireland’s thoroughbred racing and breeding industry to agricultural development and employment in every region of the country.
The Irish breeding and racing industry supports in excess of 30,000 direct and indirect jobs in Ireland, and generates €2.46bn in total expenditure, in towns and villages all over Ireland.
HRI represents Ireland on international racing bodies including the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, the European and Mediterranean Federation of Horseracing Authorities and the European Pattern Committee.
The activities carried out by HRI under its remit to govern, develop, promote and administer the sport cover a wide range of areas, the principal ones being:
The Racing Department is responsible for the annual allocation of approximately 390 race fixtures to 26 Irish racecourses and the creation of all racing programmes.
The department has budgetary responsibility for annual prize-money distribution, including HRI's direct contribution and has control of the Racecourse Capital Development Programme.
The racecourse services provided by HRI including starting stalls, photo finish and the production of integrity pictures come under the Racing Department's remit. HRI negotiates media rights for racecourses and manages the contract for the production of sound and pictures from the track for use by broadcasters.
The Racing Department also has direct responsibility for the key areas of horse racing administration in Ireland. HRI maintain the Racing Administration System (RAS) which allows trainers, jockeys' agents and owners access online to carry out their day-to-day racing administration using mobile devices such as desktops, smartphones and tablets.
The Betting Division licences and regulates all on-course bookmakers.
The main aim of the Equine Welfare & Bloodstock Division is to maintain the high welfare standards in the Irish Thoroughbred industry and to create a mechanism whereby these standards can be verified and improved in line with evolving best practice in Ireland and abroad.
Marketing & Digital
The Marketing Department promotes racing to the public through integrated national marketing campaigns. It provides a dedicated marketing support service for individual racecourses throughout the country providing marketing plan development, market research, media planning, sponsorship support and event management services. It also manages and promotes the HRI website and social media sites.
Communications & Corporate Affairs
The Communications Department is responsible for internal and external corporate communications, HRI’s press office and extensive event management, and is the direct point of contact in Horse Racing Ireland for the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and other government departments and bodies.
The department is also responsible for HRI publications including the Factbook, Annual Reports, Economic Reports and Strategic Plans.
HRI's subsidiaries carry out distinct business functions:
HRI Racecourses Limited owns and operates Fairyhouse, Leopardstown, Navan and Tipperary Racecourses.
Tote Ireland Limited operates Ireland's only pool betting system for horse racing. Tote operate betting services at all 26 racecourses in Ireland. All profits generated by Tote Ireland are returned to horse racing for the improvement of the industry. As well as operating a cash betting service at racecourses, Tote also distribute Irish racing pools internationally, meaning other Tote's and partners from around the world bet into Irish Tote pools. The Tote account offering is now operated in conjunction with the UK Tote through www.toteireland.ie
Irish Thoroughbred Marketing is responsible for the promotion of the Irish thoroughbred horse internationally. It is funded by both HRI and the Irish bloodstock industry.