At HRI, our vision is to ensure that Ireland is the global leader in all aspects of Horse Racing and Breeding, sustaining a vibrant rural industry. Our mission is to develop and promote Ireland's Horse Racing and Breeding industries, to administer and govern the sport of Horse Racing in Ireland, to cultivate and promote the highest standards of integrity and welfare.
In January 2020 John Osborne MVB MRCVS was appointed to the role of Director of Equine Welfare and Bloodstock
As part of the HRI Strategic Plan 2020-2024, HRI is committed to:
• Working collaboratively with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) and Weatherby’s (Ireland) GSB to ensure that Irish racing operates to the highest standards of integrity and fairness
• Supporting the establishment of a new equine health and welfare campus with world class diagnostic and forensic services
• Ensuring that best practice in equine welfare is adopted throughout the industry
The Irish Thoroughbred Welfare Council was formed in 2020 and comprises of representatives from Breeders, Owners, Trainers, Stable Staff, IHRB, Veterinarians DAFM, International Forum for the Aftercare of Racehorses and the animal welfare department of UCD Veterinary College. The Council advises the board of HRI on how best to shape policy to ensure high standards of horse care in the sector.
While we are confident that standards of care in Irish racing are high, we plan to develop a programme whereby these standards can be verified and that we can continuously improve these standards in line with evolving best practice in Ireland and abroad.
We work closely with the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) to find ways to make racing safer for horse and rider. Improvements in racing surfaces, track preparation, fence presentation and location of running rails all help to get the horses home safely. Riders are assessed during each race and riders may be sent for tuition on race-riding if the Stewards see a need.
HRI is committed to making the industry stronger and safer by ensuring the participants, people and horses, are treated well. While the basic standards of horse care, including nutrition, housing, health, lifestyle and environment are central to a good welfare profile, we want our care standards to be world-leading. As befits the best racehorses in the world.
John Osborne is also Director of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and HRI Ownership.
If you suspect or are aware of the mistreatment or potential welfare issues of any equines, we encourage you to notify the relevant authorities.
IHRB (Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board): https://www.ihrb.ie/29-confidential-hotline
Confidential Hotline 1800 855 846 (Republic of Ireland) or 0800 0015 114 (Northern Ireland or Great Britain)
Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare Helpline:
Phone: 01 6072 379; Email: [email protected]
IHWT Equine Welfare Centre:
Phone: 0402 30773; Emergency Welfare Calls Only: 086 604 7840; Email: [email protected]
ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline:
Phone : 0818 515 515; Email: [email protected]
Phone : 01 4994 700; Email: [email protected]
An Garda Síochána:
Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board
HRI works closely with the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) to ensure the highest standards of welfare and integrity. The Rules of Racing are written and enforced by IHRB and there are reciprocal agreements with other racing jurisdictions.
In December 2019, The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities published minimum welfare standards for horses which can be found here https://www.ifhaonline.org/resources/IFHA_Minimum_Welfare_Standards.PDF
More about the work of the IHRB can be found on their website https://www.ihrb.ie/
Irish Equine Centre
HRI supports the Irish Equine Centre by providing it with annual financial grants. The Irish Equine Centre provides world-leading expertise in specialised facilities for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of diseases in horses and for research and education in this area. The services provided underpin the health status of the horse population and, thereby, protect Ireland's disease-free status to allow for global trade.
Irish Horse Welfare Trust
HRI directly supports the Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) which seeks to re-home and re-train thoroughbreds no longer active in racing. The IHWT was established to provide a dedicated centre that is equipped for dealing with the rehabilitation and re-homing of equines and has become a specialist rehabilitation center for Thoroughbred type horses.
Established in 2020, Treo Eile is a not-for-profit providing assistance to racehorse trainers and owners who wish to rehome and retrain horses once racetrack careers are complete. The Treo Eile website allows parties to connect and match horses to homes where they can retrain for new disciplines. HRI is committed to supporting Treo Eile in the development of their website and promoting the versatility of ex-racehorses.