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Association concerns over recategorised valuations

Michael Grassick: “If they were doing it properly and had skilled horse people doing the job, we would have no problem whatsoever with scanning before a race. In fact, we'd welcome it."
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The Irish Racehorse Trainers Association will be represented by Horse Racing Ireland when it voices concerns to the government over rates valuations on training yards.

Chief executive Michael Grassick had revealed in March that the trainers' properties have been recategorised into the leisure sector, having been previously belonged to the agriculture division.

The majority of rates will rise for trainers in the new year if the government does not place trainers back in the agriculture sector.

He said: "We are treating this with the highest of importance and we don't fully understand why trainers have come out of agriculture and been placed into the leisure category.

"Initially, we were dealing with trainers from Kildare but we understand now that this has impacted on trainers all over the country."

Grassick has urged any trainer who is experiencing concerns on the matter to contact the IRTA, and said: "Any trainer who is unsure or worried about their situation should call our office and we will provide them with all of the necessary information they need.”

The recategorisation of trainers has also had an impact on the deal struck between the IRTA and the Stable Staff Association in December which raised the hourly rate to €10.75 per hour and increased expenses for workers travelling to the races.

He said: “The Stable Staff Association and the IRTA came to an agreement earlier in the year but the terms of that agreement have yet to be accepted by the Work Relations Commission.

“Both situations are interlinked and we're hoping to get back into agriculture so we can resolve both problems. This is an ongoing process.”

We don't fully understand why trainers have come out of agriculture and been placed into the leisure category
E.W. Terms