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Lucky William - Punchestown 27.04.2012

Central funding for Irish racing has fallen 28 per cent since 2008

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Irish budget cuts racing funding by €1 million

THE allocation to the Horse and Greyhound Fund in 2013 has been cut from €56.29 million to €55m, it was announced on Wednesday by the Irish government, with the horseracing industry's allocation reduced by €1m.

The drop in in funding, to €44m from €45.03m, was revealed in the annual budget, and 2013 will witness the allocation of funds to the industry reduced for a fifth consecutive year.

Reacting to the budget announcement on Wednesday night, Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: "We are disappointed to see a further reduction in funding for the fifth year running, but I suppose that it was inevitable in view of the general economic climate.

"In 2008 the funding for the horseracing industry amounted to €61 million, and that has now fallen by 28 per cent to €44 million for next year."

Following the announcement, further cutbacks by HRI will be inevitable.

Kavanagh added: "We will have to discuss the implications for our own budget for next year. The latest reduction in funding emphasises again how important it is to find a long-term method of secure funding for the industry. We are working on an ongoing basis with government to try to bring that situation about."

It is hoped that the Betting Amendment Bill, which is being processed and which will target securing much needed revenue from exchange and offshore betting, will contribute to a better funding arrangement for the industry.

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