Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is the governing body of horse racing on the island of Ireland. The HRI mission statement is "to develop and promote Ireland as a world centre of excellence for horse racing and breeding". Like most other sports, horse racing is run on an All Ireland basis, so Horse Racing Ireland is responsible for racing in both the Republic of Ireland, which has 24 racecourses, and in Northern Ireland, which has two racecourses. The remit of the British Horseracing Authority does not extend to Northern Ireland. HRI was founded in 2001, succeeding the Irish Horseracing Authority, the 1994 successor to the Racing Board founded in 1945.
In April 2020, Brian Kavanagh, the chief executive of HRI said that with the benefit of hindsight the 2020 Cheltenham Festival should not have taken place.
In addition to fulfilling regulatory and promotional functions, Horse Racing Ireland owns Fairyhouse, Leopardstown, Navan and Tipperary racecourses. The group's chairperson since May 2018 has been Nicky Harteryand its CEO is Brian Kavanagh. Suzanne Eade will succeed Kavanagh as CEO in September 2021.
The industry contributes significantly to the Irish economy. Bloodstock sales, Tote betting and racecourse attendances produced significant growth in 2011, figures issued by Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) show. This marks a positive upturn for the industry which had suffered severe contraction since 2007 across almost all areas.In 2004 this contribution was estimated to be in the region of €330 million euros.
Horse racing is the second largest spectator sport in Great Britain, and one of the longest established, with a history dating back many centuries. According to a report by the British Horseracing Authority it generates £3.39 billion total direct and indirect expenditure in the British economy, of which £1.05 Billion is from core racing industry expenditure and the major horse racing events such as Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival are important dates in the British and international sporting and society calendar.
The Jockey Club is the largest commercial horse racing organisation in the United Kingdom. No longer responsible for the governance and regulation of British horseracing, today it owns 15 of Britain's famous racecourses, including Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and both the Rowley Mile and July Course in Newmarket, amongst other concerns such as the National Stud, and the property and land management company, Jockey Club Estates. The registered charity Racing Welfare is also a company limited by guarantee with the Jockey Club being the sole member. As it is governed by Royal Charter, all profits it makes are reinvested back into the sport.
In horse racing in the United Kingdom, France and Republic of Ireland, National Hunt racing requires horses to jump fences and ditches. National Hunt racing in the UK is informally known as "jumps" and is divided into two major distinct branches: hurdles and steeplechases. Alongside these there are "bumpers", which are National Hunt flat races. In a hurdles race, the horses jump over obstacles called hurdles; in a steeplechase the horses jump over a variety of obstacles that can include plain fences, water jump or an open ditch. In the UK the biggest National Hunt events of the year are generally considered to be the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a Grade 1 National Hunt horse race run on the New Course at Cheltenham Racecourse in England, over a distance of about 3 miles 2½ furlongs, and during its running there are 22 fences to be jumped. The race takes place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The Cheltenham Festival is a meeting in the National Hunt racing calendar in the United Kingdom, with race prize money second only to the Grand National. The four-day festival takes place annually in March at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. It usually coincides with Saint Patrick's Day and is particularly popular with Irish visitors.
Racing Post is a British daily horse racing, greyhound racing and sports betting publisher which is published in print form and digitally.
The Weatherbys Group is a UK conglomerate involved in a wide range of activities largely within banking and horse racing. The original business was founded by James Weatherby in 1770.
The Curragh Racecourse -- usually referred to as simply the Curragh -- is one of Ireland's most important Thoroughbred racecourses. It is situated on the Curragh plain in County Kildare, between the towns of Newbridge and Kildare.
Gordon Elliott is a County Meath-based National Hunt racehorse trainer. After riding as an amateur jockey, he took out a trainer's licence in 2006. He was 29 when his first Grand National entry, the 33 to 1 outsider Silver Birch, won the 2007 race. In 2018 and 2019 he won the Grand National with Tiger Roll, ridden by Davy Russell and owned by Gigginstown House Stud, the first horse since Red Rum to win the race twice. In 2018 he also won the Irish Grand National, with General Principle. On two occasions, in 2017 and 2018, he was the top trainer at the Cheltenham Festival.
Nicholas John Henderson is a British racehorse trainer. He has been British jump racing Champion Trainer six times.
The British Horseracing Authority, also known simply as the BHA, is the regulatory authority for horse racing in Great Britain.
Edward John "Teddy" Beckett, 5th Baron Grimthorpe and 9th Baronet of Leeds, is a British peer. He was racing manager to the late Prince Khalid Abdullah who died in January 2021.
The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase is a Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 2 miles, and during its running there are fourteen fences to be jumped. It is a handicap race, and it is scheduled to take place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Davy Russell is an Irish National Hunt jockey. He has been Irish jump racing Champion Jockey three times, and has won the Grand National (twice), the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris.
The National Hunt Challenge Cup is a Grade 2 National Hunt steeplechase in Great Britain for amateur riders which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 3 miles 6 furlongs, and during its running there are twenty-three fences to be jumped. The race is for novice chasers, and it is scheduled to take place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The Centenary Novices' Handicap Chase, known for sponsorship purposes as the Paddy's Reward Club Novices' Handicap Chase, is a Listed National Hunt steeplechase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged five years or older. It is run at Sandown Park over a distance of about 2 miles and 4 furlongs, and during its running there are sixteen fences to be jumped. It was a handicap race for novice chasers with a handicap rating between 0 and 145, and it takes place each year in March.
Weapon's Amnesty is an Irish thoroughbred racehorse. He retired in January 2013.
The Road to Cheltenham is a series of seven British and Irish top-class horse races over hurdles, culminating in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. The Road To Cheltenham is a concept developed by Racing For Change – an arm of the British Horseracing Authority charged with leading a fundamental reappraisal of the way racing is promoted – and the online sportsbook StanJames.com.
Nicholas Hartery is an Irish businessman, the chairman of CRH plc.
Horse racing in Ireland is intricately linked with Irish culture and society. The racing of horses has a long history on the island, being mentioned in some of the earliest texts. Domestically, racing is one of Ireland's most popular spectator sports, while on the international scene, Ireland is one of the strongest producers and trainers of Thoroughbred horses. The Irish horse racing industry is closely linked with that of Great Britain, with Irish horses regularly competing and winning on the British racing circuit.