Goffs’ chief says it is critical Brexit does not result in trade barriers with UK

Irish bloodstock industry needs as much ‘free trade and free movement as possible’

Henry Beeby:  “I think that people will go to where the best horses are.”

Henry Beeby: “I think that people will go to where the best horses are.”

 

It is “critical” for the Irish bloodstock industry that Brexit does not result in trade barriers between the Republic and UK, according to a leading racehorse auctioneer.

Britain is the biggest market for Irish racehorses, with its buyers spending about €150 million a year purchasing thoroughbreds from here.

Speaking as horse breeders gear up for number of important sales later this month, Goffs’ chief executive, Henry Beeby, warned that the industry needs as much “free trade and free movement as possible” between the two countries post-Brexit.

“It is critical that no barriers go up and that there is free movement of people and horses,” he said. Mr Beeby added that the two countries’ racing and breeding industries are interdependent and barriers would damage both.

Orby sale

Goffs, which has operations in both jurisdictions, will run its high profile Orby sale in the last week of this month, where it will offer more than 400 yearlings for sale. Rival Tattersalls Ireland will host a similar auction in Fairyhouse, Co Meath, shortly before.

Mr Beeby said sterling’s fall against the euro, sparked by the UK’s vote in June to leave the EU, had not so far hit sales nor prompted Irish vendors to send their horses to be sold at auctions in the UK.

“I think that people will go to where the best horses are, and many buyers now do their calculations in dollars in any case,” he said.

Irish Thoroughbred Marketing figures show that in 2013 British buyers spent €155 million buying Irish bred racehorses at auction. Just over €205 million worth of horses were sold that year.