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IHRB Announce 2017 Integrity Racing Statistics

Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) Announce 2017

Integrity Racing Statistics

The IHRB today, Tuesday, 20th February 2018, announced the Integrity Racing Statistics for 2017.

 The statistics cover stewards’ enquiries, appeals and referrals hearings, drug/alcohol testing of riders, drug testing of horses, licences, non-runners, medical statistics, handicap ratings and off-times.

The key statistics are as follows:

Stewards Enquiries:

Number of penalties for breaches of:

  • Vaccinations not in order up 63% to 140
  • Whip rules up 29% to 169
  • Starting rules down 88% to 6
  • Weighing in/out rules up 65% to 71

 Appeals and Referrals Hearings

  • 31 appeals were determined with 35% being successful or partially successful
  • 44 referrals were heard

 Drug/Alcohol Testing of Riders

  • 244 riders were drug tested with four riders returning positives tests (Cocaine metabolites)

 Drug Testing of Horses

  • 4,094 samples were tested with 5 tests being positive
  • 407 out-of-competition samples were tested


  • Trend of annual falls in the number of national hunt riders’ licences issued is reversed with 120 licences issued (up 19%)
  • 309 Qualified Riders Permits issued (down 8%)
  • 93 National Hunt Trainers’ licences issued (down 10.5%)
  • 137 National Hunt Restricted Trainers’ licences issued (down 13%)

 Medical Statistics

  • The injury rate per ride in both flat and national hunt racing fell to 0.10% and 0.99% respectively

 Handicap Ratings

  • Number of hurdlers rated 130 or higher down 19% to 118
  • Number of chasers rated 130 or higher up 4.5% to 190

Commenting on the figures Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, said that “there were some significant changes in the statistics since 2016, many of which there are reasons for”. In relation to the Stewards Enquiry changes he said that “the big increase in the breaches of the vaccination rules is due to all passports being checked on racedays, in previous years only passports that met certain criteria were checked. The decrease in the starting rule breaches is as a result of greater discipline at the start following the introduction of a recording system. The increase in weighing in/out enquiries is due to new rules on overweights which were introduced”. In conclusion, Denis Egan expressed disappointment at the increase in the number of whip rule breaches and said that the IHRB Directors may need to review the penalty guidelines as the current penalties are not having the desired effect.

With regard to the key licensing statistics, Denis Egan said that “it is pleasing to see that the recent trend of falling national hunt riders’ licences has been reversed; however, the fall in national hunt trainers’ licences for both full and restricted licences is very worrying with double digit percentage falls being recorded in both categories”. He said that the number of national hunt trainers’ licences is now at its lowest level in many years”. Highlighting the depth of the fall Denis Egan said that “the total number of trainers’ licences has fallen from 805 in 2007 to 578 in 2017 and is falling each year. This is an area that will have to be addressed.”  He noted that the situation is not getting any better and referred in particular to the difficulty there is currently in filling the trainers’ course which means that less and less trainers are entering the profession.

Commenting on the Medical Statistics, Dr. Adrian McGoldrick, Senior IHRB Medical Officer said that the improvement in the injury rates may be attributed to the introduction of the new Level 2 Safety Vest on 1st January 2017”. He noted that the number of visceral injury rates had reduced significantly. He said that “concussion rates for jump racing had remained stable while there was an increase in the concussion rate for flat racing”. Dr. McGoldrick noted that only 9 of the 38 falls in flat racing actually occurred during the race.

Download Full Statistics Here

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