Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Turf Club 2011 Integrity Racing Statistics

Turf Club announce 2011 Integrity Racing Statistics

The Turf Club today, 1 March, 2012, announced its Integrity Racing Statistics for 2011. The statistics cover stewards’ enquiries, appeals, drug/alcohol testing of riders, drug testing of horses, licenses issued, non-runners, medical statistics, handicap ratings and off-times.

The key statistics are as follows:-

  • The Appeals Body and the Referrals Committee had their busiest year ever dealing with 61 cases. This represented a 22% increase over the corresponding figures for 2010 and a 126% increase over the 2009 figures.  The Appeals Body dealt with 22 cases, six of which were chaired by an independent chairman.  54% of appeals were successful.
  • There was a 29% increase in the number of whip enquiries on the racecourse due to tighter policing of the whip rules.
  • 108 riders were drug tested and one sample was confirmed as positive.
  • Alcohol breath testing of riders was carried out on 839 riders at 16 meetings.  All tests were negative.
  • 2,926 horses were tested for prohibited substances and there were seven positive results. This was the highest number of tests carried out in recent years. All winners on the racecourse are routinely tested in addition to a number of other horses being randomly selected for sampling.There was a decrease across the board in the number of riders being licensed with all categories declining to their lowest level in the recent years.  The number of National Hunt licences fell by 4.6%, flat licences by 11%, apprentice licences by 5% and qualified riders licences by 7%.  The number of apprentices being indentured for the first time decreased by 8%.
  • There was a small decrease in the total number of trainers’ and restricted trainers’ licences.  The number of licences in both categories is now at 2004 levels.
  • The total number of stable employees registered declined by 9.6%. The number of stable staff working in trainers’ yards is now at 2006 levels.

Commenting on the figures, Turf Club Chief Executive, Denis Egan, expressed concern at the overall fall in the number of licences issued.  He said “the falls are indicative of the problems that the industry is facing.  It is worrying that the number of trainers and jockeys licensed in most categories is now at 2004 levels and lower in some cases”.


With regard to apprentices he said that “the number of apprentices licensed is 20% lower than the peak in 2008 and that while the economy isn’t helping there are also difficulties in recruiting enough apprentices who are light enough to become riders.  The weight issue is highlighted by the increase in the average weight of flat apprentices who attended the continuous professional development course at RACE in the past two years which is now 8 stone 7 pounds”.

In relation to the drug testing of horses, he said that the Turf Club was “disappointed with the results as many of the positives found were avoidable.  A positive result is expensive for everybody connected with the horse.  In addition to a trainer being fined and losing his share of prizemoney, the owner and jockey will also forfeit any prizemoney won”.  He confirmed that the Turf Club regards this whole area as critical in ensuring the integrity of Irish racing continues to conform to the highest standards.  He said that there are plans to increase the level of testing again in 2012.  Click on attachment below for full list of Statistics


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