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.

As part of the HRI Strategic Plan 2024-2028, HRI is committed to cultivating a culture of zero compromise in equine safety and care standards with the following specific actions over the next five years: 

  • Lead a new era of equine safety and care in Irish racing and breeding. 
  • Increase investment across three key equine safety and care pillars – ‘Standards’, ‘Traceability’ and ‘Safety Nets’. 
  • Reduce equine injury rates through enhanced raceday preventative measures. 
  • Support the Irish Equine Centre in its redevelopment plans to enable it to provide the world class diagnostic facilities that will ensure the continuing health of the breed.


Horse Racing Ireland’s Equine Welfare Department, under the leadership of John Osborne, Equine Welfare and Bloodstock Director, hosted its first welfare symposium ‘Changing stride - the way ahead for horse racing safety and care’ in the Keadeen Hotel and the Curragh Racecourse on Friday May 24, reflecting a key goal in the new HRI strategic plan 2024-2028 to cultivate a culture of zero compromise in equine care and safety standards. 

The event featured a wide range of speakers and discussion panelists, focusing on veterinary and scientific innovation to protect and promote equine care and safety. 

Speakers on the day included Dr. Orla Doherty, Dr. Graham Adams, Dr. Rachel Annan and Dr. Tamzin Furtado.

Important Information

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

More about the work of the IHRB can be found on their website

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.  

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.

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.

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):

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: