Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

New Plastic Type Hurdle

New  Plastic  Type  Hurdle

The Stewards of the I.N.H.S. Committee have announced that they are to continue with the trialing of the new Plastic Type Hurdles (manufactured by Easyfix Rubber Products in Galway) at four racecourses  -  Sligo,  Roscommon,  Kilbeggan  and  Ballinrobe  -  in 2008.  When the racing season is completed at these tracks, the Stewards will then review the situation and consult with all parties concerned before making a final decision as to the suitability of the new hurdles for racing in this country. 

Having viewed the first version of the hurdle in September of 2006 when Mr. William Flood was the Senior Steward, the Stewards are delighted to have arrived at this point.  The new hurdle has reached this stage with the full consent of the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association and the Irish Jockeys Association, and the Stewards are grateful to both organisations, together with Turf Club Officials, for their input. 

The new hurdles have been on the Curragh Schooling Ground since May of 2007.  Regular Schooling Days have been held at various racecourses in the South and one race has been run over the hurdles in Limerick on 12th November, 2007, while four hurdle races were run over the new hurdles at Fairyhouse on 2nd February, 2008.  The Stewards are anxious to move the trialing on to a new stage, hence the decision to race over the hurdles at the above mentioned racecourses.

Mr. John Moloney, Senior Steward of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee, said that “the Stewards are very pleased with the project to this stage and the whole concept will be reviewed after the final meeting at Sligo on 1st October, 2008.  The dimensions of the new hurdle are similar to the traditional hurdle.  If this hurdle proves successful it could open up a whole new era of hurdle racing in Ireland.”

Commenting on the new hurdles, Mr. Jim Kavanagh, Chief Executive of the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association, said that “the trainers are happy with the new hurdles to date and are looking forward to racing over them at the proposed venues.”

Mr. Andrew Coonan, Secretary of the Irish Jockeys Association, said “I have spoken to Tom Howley (Easy Fix) about the new hurdles and so far the trials have been satisfactory and more significantly I have received no negative feedback from the riders.  Obviously the extension of the trials over the next few months should tell us a lot more but from our point of view, it’s a case of so far so good.”

Mr. Paddy Walsh, Association of Irish Racecourses, said that “the initial trials with the hurdles have resulted in almost unanimous praise from all sectors of the Industry and, assuming continued success during the next phase at the four racecourses, I would like to see the hurdles in use at all Irish Racecourses in the coming years.”


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