Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is the governing body of horse racing on the island of Ireland. The HRI mission statement is “to develop and promote Ireland as a world centre of excellence for horse racing and breeding”. Like most other sports, horse racing is run on an all Ireland basis, so Horse Racing Ireland is responsible for racing in both the Republic of Ireland, which has 24 racecourses, and in Northern Ireland, which has 2 racecourses. The remit of the British Horseracing Authority does not extend to Northern Ireland. HRI was founded in 2001, succeeding the Irish Horse racing Authority, the 1994 successor to the Racing Board founded in 1945.
In addition to fulfilling regulatory and promotional functions, Horse Racing Ireland owns Fairyhouse, Leopardstown, Navan and Tipperary racecourses. The group’s current chairman is Mr Denis Brosnan and its CEO Mr Brian Kavanagh.
The horse racing industry still contributes significantly to the Irish economy. Bloodstock sales, Tote betting and racecourse attendances produced significant growth in 2011, figures issued by Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) show. This marks a positive upturn for the industry which had suffered severe contraction since 2007 across almost all areas. In 2004 this contribution was estimated to be in the region of €330 million euros.