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IHRB puts integrity and safety at heart of ambitious four-year strategy

15th December 2023: The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) has today announced the publication of its Statement of Strategy for the period 2024-2027, describing it as an ambitious strategy to assure public trust in horseracing through best in class regulatory and integrity processes.

The Statement of Strategy for 2024 – 2027  is built around five key strategic pillars – People, Integrity, Welfare, Digital First and Governance – and aims to deliver on the IHRB’s updated purpose: To safeguard the reputation of Irish horseracing through robust and transparent regulatory practices, implemented with uncompromising integrity by a focused and professional team. It sets out how the IHRB will continue to provide independent regulation to the horse racing industry on the island of Ireland, which supports over 30,000 jobs and is worth €2.46bn to the economy.

The Strategy builds on the IHRB’s inaugural strategic plan which covered the period 2019-2023 and which saw the IHRB make significant progress in the health, safety and welfare of racing participants, equine anti-doping and medication control and the integrity of regulatory practices, as well as significantly strengthening the organisation’s board and governance.

Darragh O’Loughlin, IHRB CEO, said:

“The IHRB leadership team is determined to position the IHRB as a world-class regulator for horseracing with a focus on excellence in the delivery of our core functions. This is consistent with our strategic vision, which is ‘Assuring public trust in Irish horseracing through best in class regulatory and integrity processes. 

“This ambitious strategy reflects the core values of the IHRB – integrity, professionalism, excellence, respect, accountability and safety. The strategy charts our path to further modernisation through an ongoing programme of change and will bring ever greater knowledge and professionalism, uncompromising integrity, enhanced transparency and a relentless focus on safety and well-being of participants, as well as closer collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Horse Racing Ireland, the Veterinary Council of Ireland and other important stakeholders.

“I am confident that with the ongoing support of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and our colleagues in Horse Racing Ireland we can achieve the objectives set out in this document.”

Martin O’Donnell, IHRB Chairman, commented:

“As part of the process of developing our new strategy, we reviewed our performance under the previous IHRB Strategic Plan 2019-2023. We were pleased to note that most of the objectives that the IHRB had set itself at that time were substantially achieved. Of those that were not, any that remain relevant have been incorporated into the new strategy.  

“A key part of the development of this new strategy was wide stakeholder engagement through a number of focus groups with staff, racing participants and key stakeholders from within and outside the industry, plus an extensive public consultation process which received more than 250 responses. I am grateful to everyone who participated in and contributed to the development of our Statement of Strategy. Their perspectives and insights were pivotal to the process. The overriding theme throughout the consultation was a passion for Irish horseracing, a dedication to the welfare and safety of all participants, and an expectation of the highest standards of regulation, which is all reflected in the new strategy.

“On a personal note, as I come to the end of my term as Chairman of the IHRB, I am very proud of what the organisation has achieved in its first six years. This new strategy will frame the approach and guide the efforts of the IHRB for the next four years as it continues to develop and improve as an organisation.”


Click below to view our Statement of Strategy 2024 - 2027

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