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Red Mills and Irish EBF combine to sponsor auction hurdle series

Tom Mullins: supportive of the new series
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A new series of auction hurdle races has been launched in Ireland with 14 qualifiers building up to a €75,000 final in April next year.

Connolly's Red Mills and the Irish European Breeders Fund are combining with Horse Racing Ireland to stage the auction hurdle series confined to horses by an EBF-registered stallion who were purchased as an unraced three- or four-year-old at a recognised National Hunt store sale for €45,000 or less.

The qualifying races, each worth €20,000, will be run between next month and April 2019 and will start with a maiden hurdle at Listowel on September 11.

New series: Listowel will host the first qualifier next month

John O'Connor, chairman of the Irish EBF, said: "This series will encourage the purchase of National Hunt stores at auction and give owners and trainers an opportunity to target the series."

Commenting on the series, trainer Tom Mullins said: "I think this is a brilliant initiative and a great way to bring new owners into the game. We need these owners to keep it lively and vibrant.

"To buy a horse for €45,000 or less and be able to target this series with a chance to win and perhaps cover your purchase price is wonderful."

Gareth Connolly, sales and marketing director of Connolly's Red Mills, said: “This is more than a sponsorship, this is our direct contribution back to the industry that supports us 365 days of the year. We understand the challenges that trainers and owners are facing and felt this was another perfect opportunity to partner with the Irish EBF to deliver another valuable series."

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I think this is a brilliant initiative and a great way to bring new owners into the game

Key data

Thomas Mullins
E.W. Terms