Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Turf Club announce 2008 Integrity Racing Statistics

Turf Club announce 2008 Integrity Racing Statistics

The Turf Club today announced the Integrity Racing Statistics for 2008.

The main statistics cover Racecourse Stewards’ Enquiries, Appeals Body and Referrals Committee hearings, 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:-

  • Appeals Body and Referrals Committee hearings were higher at 38, mainly due to an increase in the number of prohibited substance cases dealt with.  Point-to-Point positives accounted for 3 of these hearings.  The Appeals Body dealt with 15 cases of which 4 were chaired by an Independent Chairman.
  • 88 riders were drug tested and all samples were negative.  In total 425 riders have been tested since testing was introduced in 2003 and there has only been 1 positive test.
  • Alcohol breath testing of riders was carried out on 670 riders at 13 meetings.  All tests were negative.
  • 2,916 horses were tested for prohibited substances and there were 12 positive results.
  • The number of apprentice licences issued increased by 6% but there was a 38% decrease in the number of apprentices indentured for the first time.
  • The number of stable employees registered remained static.


Commenting on the figures, Turf Club Chief Executive, Denis Egan, said “the figures are broadly in line with 2007”.  He complimented the jockeys on the negative results from drug and alcohol testing.  He said “all 758 tests taken in 2008 were negative and that the jockeys and Irish racing can be proud of the results”.  He said that “these results are excellent in view of results in other jurisdictions.”

In relation to the drug testing of horses, Denis Egan expressed “disappointment at the increase in the number of positive results to 12, noting that all the positives related to the finding of legitimate therapeutic substances which had not left the horses system on the raceday.”

Commenting on the medical statistics, Mr. Egan stated “it was most pleasing to report that the fall and injury rate per ride in flat racing decreased to the lowest level in the past five years.”  He attributed the improvement to the ongoing health and safety procedures being carried out throughout racing.

The most significant increase was in the number of performance warnings issued which was 79% higher at 299.  There was a 68% increase in the number of fines imposed for non return of overseas performances which is indicative of the increase in the number of Irish horses running overseas.

Mr. Egan concluded by referring to the apprentices and the great success achieved by apprentices indentured in the past two years.  In particular he noted that the 2008 champion apprentice Emmet McNamara won the title in his second year of apprenticeship and that 19 of the 47 apprentices indentured for the first time in 2007 and 2008 had already ridden winners which augured well for the future.

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