Brexit’s implications for free movement of horses a concern for HRI

Robbie Power to make comeback at Naas ahead of Grade One rides on Sunday

Racing's ruling body has conceded there is concern within the bloodstock industry here in relation to Brexit and its possible implications for the free movement of horses between Ireland and Britain.

A tripartite agreement guaranteeing movement of thoroughbreds between Ireland, Britain and France existed prior to this country joining the European Union in 1973.

"We would hope that will survive. But we can't be certain it will. So there are concerns about the implications of all this," said Horse Racing Ireland's chief executive, Brian Kavanagh.

“Up to 80 per cent of the export of horses here are to Britain and they’re worth €225 million. There are also concerns about the value of sterling and the potential for tariffs. Our media rights deal from 2019 is in sterling.


“Our two racing jurisdictions are almost completely intertwined. There are two tracks (Down Royal and Downpatrick) here which will be effectively outside the EU.

“There was racing in the North at the height of the Troubles, and before Ireland and Britain were in the EU, but it was messy. Free movement is always a big plus and right now people just don’t know yet what the implications of Brexit will be, and particularly a hard Brexit ,” he added.

In other news jockey Robbie Power will return to action at Naas on Saturday ahead of his two Grade One rides at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The Grand National-winning rider ruptured a disc in his back at Gowran Park a fortnight ago but has made it back in time for the weekend action. He is set to ride Sizing John in Sunday's Stan James Irish Gold Cup and Our Duke in the Flogas Novice Chase on the same card.

Before that Power will have a couple of rides at Naas, including the four year old Bobabout in a novice hurdle.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column