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IHRB Publishes First Ever Annual Report

2021 Annual Report reflects strong advances in equine anti-doping and recovery of horseracing from Covid-19 impacts

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) has today published its 2021 Annual Report – its first since the IHRB was established in 2018 and assumed the role of the Racing Regulatory Body. The report illustrates the extent of the IHRB’s work to safeguard the integrity and reputation of Irish horseracing and the welfare of its participants, both horse and human.

2021 Highlights

  • A total of 5,982 equine anti-doping samples taken – organisation’s highest ever
  • Twelve IHRB officials appointed as Authorised Officers by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine
  • Special Recognition Award for IHRB Senior Medical Officer, Dr Jennifer Pugh
  • More licences issued in almost every category
  • Continued to clear disciplinary cases post Covid-19
  • Recovery from Covid-19, with racegoers returning to tracks nationwide

IHRB Chairman Martin O’Donnell said, “This document, our first formal Annual Report, reflects on a very important year in the ongoing development of the IHRB as Ireland’s Racing Regulatory Body.  We put a particular focus on our equine anti-doping programme and commissioned a review by renowned global expert Dr. Craig Suann, whose independent audit confirmed that we match international best practices.  In 2021 we also published our first biannual Equine Anti-Doping report which has become a very important communication with stakeholders. 

“On the governance side, we began amending our constitution to allow for greater diversity of skills and backgrounds on our board, and I was delighted that the Board appointed two excellent new independent directors consequently.

“As we continue strengthening and developing the organisation, I would like to pay tribute to our staff and volunteers who make racing possible and work daily to uphold its integrity”, added Mr O’Donnell.

Commenting on the publication of the report, IHRB CEO Darragh O’Loughlin said, “2021 was a challenging but productive year for the IHRB, as it recovered from the global pandemic but still managed to continue operations as normally as possible. The highest number of equine anti-doping samples ever taken was recorded, we had 12 new Authorised Officers appointed, and strong progress was made on clearing the remaining disciplinary cases that were outstanding following Covid-19.

“The IHRB is committed to ensuring confidence in Irish horseracing is protected by robust and transparent regulatory practices, implemented with integrity by a professional and progressive team. The publication of this report is another milestone in that journey.”


To view the 2021 IHRB Annual Report click here 


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