Andrew Hogan (right), General Manager, Tipperary Racecourse with James Mulcahy
All three County Tipperary racecourses were on hand at the latest of the of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) roadshows on what the future holds for Irish racing at Horse & Jockey Hotel on Wednesday evening.
Thurles, Clonmel and Tipperary were all represented at the forum, the third of the series. Sisters Kate Molony and Annemarie Cullen represented nearby Thurles, DJ Histon, Eugene Cooney, Carmel Leavy and Enda O’Keeffe were there for Clonmel; while Andrew Hogan, Robert Dunne and Perry Power flew the flag for Tipperary and spread the word that their season will kick off on Thursday, May 10 following the postponement of their Thursday, April 19 fixture.
Those in attendance engaged with CEO of HRI, Brian Kavanagh, and members of the HRI senior management team, on numerous topics ranging including staffing issues within the industry, the devastating implications of Brexit for racing and breeding in Ireland, the vital economic role played by racing and breeding in rural Ireland, and the importance of a solid funding structure to grow the industry and provide opportunities for those at every level.
Jason Morris, Director of Racing at HRI, spoke in depth about race programming and the patterns that have emerged in Irish racing in recent years. He addressed concerns expressed by trainers and permit holders in the room. Those in attendance also heard of the challenges in attracting people to go racing from HRI’s Commercial and Marketing Director Paul Dermody, who outlined that the racing industry in Ireland has one of the biggest core audiences in sport and employs almost 29,000 directly and indirectly.