Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Integrity Portal


How to become a Trainer

How to become a Trainer

To become a Racehorse Trainer, applicants must be 21 years of age or older and should have a minimum of 2 years’ experience working in a Racehorse Trainers Yard. Alternatively, if you held a rider’s licence with an acceptable number of rides for the same period or were registered as a Point-to-Point Handler with an acceptable number of runners, you may also be eligible to apply. Any applicant who does not meet this criteria should provide demonstrable   experience and discuss their application with the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) Head of Licensing.

Applicants are required to successfully complete an assessment to establish prior knowledge of the industry in order for the applicant to qualify to complete the Trainer’s Course. The assessment consists of a practical, oral, and written elements.

The pre-trainer’s course will be held over a 3-week period and will be delivered via a blended approach with sessions delivered online and in-house. Following successful completion of the pre-trainer’s course, a stable inspection will be carried out on the proposed training establishment. The stable inspection report and application along with all relevant documentation will be forwarded to the Licensing Committee, at which stage applicants will be informed of a date and time to attend for interview.

The Licensing Committee will ultimately decide on whether a licence is granted. The successful completion of the assessments and pre-trainers’ course does NOT guarantee the issuing of a licence.

Should you wish to apply for a Trainers Licence you can log on to the Integrity Portal via and a member of the Licensing Department will be in contact. If you have any questions regarding the licensing application or process, you can contact the Licensing Department of the IHRB by email: or telephone 045-445605.

For further information, please download the information document application form from our website.

Please note the pre-trainer’s course is held twice a year, one in Spring and one in Autumn. Places are limited and allocated on a first-come basis.

Trainer Training Course Dates / Syllabus
Trainers Obligations (Main Rules)
Nomination of Rider
How to declare a Non Runner/Declaration of Reserves
Performance Warnings

Performance Warnings

A horse may be suspended from running for up to 90 days if it performs or behaves below a level which is deemed unacceptable by the Acting Stewards. (See Rule 212C (d).

Click here for Performance Warnings

Post Race Reports
Non-Runner Fines
Veterinary Certificates
How to make an Appeal
Runner Abroad

Runner Abroad

What should I do before I run a horse outside of Ireland and Great Britain?

When a horse is to travel outside of Ireland for the purpose of running in a race the trainer must inform Horse Racing Ireland no later than the day prior to the deadline for declarations of the name of the country where the horse is to travel together with the name of the horse and the race name and date of the first race in which the horse is to run. Horse Racing Ireland will then submit a Racing Clearance Notification (RCN) to the recognised Turf Authority staging the race.

The above requirement does not apply to horses travelling to Great Britain to race.

The RCN will attest that a) the horse is free or not free as the case may be from any restrictions preventing it from racing, b) that the Trainer is duly licensed and c) that the Owner is duly registered and does not appear on the Forfeit List. For the purposes of the RCN a restriction on a horse does not include incomplete records of vaccination.

The Racing Clearance Notification does not state that the vaccinations are in order, so it is important to check that the vaccinations are up to date in the passport before travelling. All declaration of runners must be made directly to the racing authority of the country where the race is run, and trainers should be aware of possible time differences.

Some countries do not use this clearance method and in which case the trainer should check with HRI for the procedure to be followed.

For full details see Rule 95

What should I do when the horse has run outside of Ireland?

When a trainer runs a horse anywhere outside of Ireland he/she must notify Horse Racing Ireland within 48 hours of the race being run or before the horse is entered in another race in Ireland (whichever is the earlier) of the details of the racecourse performance. Failure to do this will result in a fine.
For full details see Rule 148(v)(d)

What else do I need to know?

When a horse travels outside of the country to run in a race there will be an identity check on the horse the next time it runs in Ireland. Failure to produce the passport then will result in the horse not being allowed to run and a fine being imposed.
For full details see Rule 90(i)
Claiming Races
Stable Employee Documentation

Stable Employee Documentation

How To obtain a Racing Establishment Employee Card

To obtain a Racing Establishment Employee Card, the trainer must apply for this card on the appropriate form within 5 days of commencement of employment. Applicants must be 14 years of age to obtain a ‘B’ card (part – time) which is determined by the number of hours employed weekly (0-8 hrs) or 15 years of age to obtain an ‘A’ card (full – time) (8-39 hrs).

Click below for Swipe Card Application Forms:

Click here for Stable Staff Welfare Charter


Stable Employee Bonus Scheme

The Stable Employee Bonus Scheme came into effect on 1st May 2000 and is paid out quarterly to Trainers. The Scheme is financed by a 3% deduction from all prizemoney and that money is distributed to all registered employees who are in employment at the end of the relevant quarter. The amount paid to each employee is agreed by all employees and is based on a written Agreement signed by all employees and lodged with the I.H.R.B.

Watering Policy For Racecourses

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