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Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) Announce 2018  Integrity Racing Statistics


The IHRB today, Friday, 1st March 2019, announced the Integrity Racing Statistics for 2018. 

The statistics include stewards’ enquiries, appeals and referrals hearings, drug/alcohol testing of riders, drug testing of horses, licences, medical statistics and handicap ratings.

The key statistics are as follows:

 1.  Stewards’ Enquiries

  • Number of penalties for breaches of:
  • Passport rules up 463% to 111
  • Whip rules up 26% to 213
  • Running and riding rules up 27% to 37

 2.  Appeals and Referrals Hearings

  • 24 appeals were determined with 38% being successful or partially successful
  • 45 referrals were heard

 3.  Drug/Alcohol Testing of Riders

  • 254 riders were drug tested with 5 riders returning positives tests (Cocaine metabolites)

 4.  Drug Testing of Horses

  • 4,232 samples were tested with 27 tests being positive
  • 582 out-of-competition samples were tested (+ 43%)

 5.  Licences

  • Increase in National Hunt riders’ licences (+ 4%) and Qualified Riders Permits issued (+ 3%)
  • 372 Trainers’ licences issued (+ 3.6%)
  • 211 Restricted Trainers’ licences issued (- 3.6%%)

 6.  Medical Statistics

  • The injury rate per ride in National Hunt racing and Point-to-Points fell to 0.91% and 0.53% respectively

 7.  Handicap Ratings

  • Number of hurdlers rated 130 or higher up 59% to 178

Commenting on the figures Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, said that “there are some very significant changes in the statistics when compared to previous years”. In relation to Stewards Enquiries he said that “there was a further increase in the breaches of the passport rules due to non-compliance with the new rules introduced during 2018”.  Denis Egan again expressed disappointment at the increase in the number of whip rule breaches which are now at levels last seen prior to the new rules being introduced in 2013. He said that “the IHRB will be introducing more stringent whip rules in the coming months and for the first time there will be a restriction on the number of strikes allowed. There will also be higher penalties for frequent offenders.”

Commenting on the increase in the number of racehorse positives, Dr Lynn Hillyer, Head of Anti-Doping said that “2018 saw a well-publicised development of the IHRB’s equine anti-doping programme.  Whilst the overall number of positive cases was an increase on previous years, on investigation of each case it was clear that they largely arose from a lack of understanding of the risks around prohibited substances.  The three anti-doping seminars that the IHRB organised in the autumn were well received – with an emphasis on prevention always being better than cure, further anti-doping education is planned for 2019.”

Denis Egan referred to the increase in the number of positive drug tests in riders and said that “2018 was a bad year with 5 riders testing positive for cocaine”. He referred to the two Anti-Doping Seminars for jockeys which take place on Tuesday, 5th March at the Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge at 7pm and on Wednesday, 20th March at the Horse and Jockey Hotel at 7pm and stressed the importance of all jockeys to attend.

Commenting on the licensing statistics, Denis Egan said that “it is pleasing to note that the tide seems to have turned regarding trainers’ licences with a 3.6% increase being recorded which is the first increase in recent years.”

Commenting on the Medical Statistics, Dr Jennifer Pugh, Senior IHRB Medical Officer said that while there was an improvement in the injury rates the concussion rate in National Hunt racing has risen markedly from 11 in 2017 to 20 in 2018.  Dr Pugh noted that the average over the last 10 years was 10 per annum.  She attributed the reasons for the increase to the extremely dry weather conditions leading to the going being mostly good or better over the summer and autumn months and an improvement in detection methods. On the positive side she noted that there were no concussions in flat racing.

Denis Egan said that the increase in the number of hurdlers with ratings over 130 is due to the handicapping team publishing as many new ratings as possible for horses entered in graded races and the fact that horses who would have been traditionally removed from the system at the end of one season because they were going chasing being left on the system as they have continued to run over hurdles due to the faster ground.


A PDF of the statistics is downloadable here

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