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Turf Club announce 2015 Integrity Racing Statistics

The Turf Club today, Tuesday, 9th February 2016, announced its Integrity Racing Statistics for 2015. The statistics cover stewards’ enquiries, appeals and referrals hearings, drug/alcohol testing of riders, drug testing of horses, licences issued, non-runners, medical statistics, handicap ratings and off-times.

The key statistics are as follows:-

  • Careless riding enquiries decreased by 25% to 71.
  • The Appeals Body and Referrals Committee dealt with 56 cases consisting of 23 appeals and 33 referrals. 61% of appeals were successful or partially successful.
  • 168 riders were drug tested and three samples were confirmed as positive, the substances found were metabolites of Cocaine (two findings) and Bisoprolol
  • 974 riders were breath tested – all results were negative.
  • 3,315 horses were tested for prohibited substances and there were five positive results.
  • 346 qualified riders’ permits were issued. This represents a 14% decrease on the 2014 figure.
  • The number of licenses issued to national hunt trainers fell slightly. There was an increase in the number of flat licenses issued.
  • The injury rate per ride in point to points decreased to 0.77%.

Commenting on the figures, Turf Club Chief Executive Denis Egan said “the decline in the number of careless riding enquires was due to a significant decrease in such enquiries at Dundalk. The main reason for this is that riders have become more accustomed to riding the track with the false rail at the turn into the straight which was introduced in 2014.”

With regard to trainers licenses, Denis Egan said “the most significant statistic is that the decline in trainers’ licenses seems to have bottomed out which could indicate that the worst is over. A further indication of this is that there were small increases in flat licenses (full and restricted) and in dual restricted licenses, though the number of national hunt restricted licenses continues to fall. However, for the recovery in this area to take hold, the number of horses-in-training will have to start increasing which did not occur in 2015.”

The number of qualified riders’ licenses continues to fall. As in previous years this is due to stricter criteria being applied with regard to re-licensing and the fact that riders who take part in charity races do not have to be licensed.

There was a 16.5% decrease in the number of runners in point-to-point races which was not surprising as it mirrored the fall in the number of hunters’ certificates registered. The number of hunters’ certificates registered was 37% lower than the numbers registered at the peak. All these falls are directly attributable to the fall in the foal crop between 2008 and 2010.

Irish steeplechasing is going through a golden era at present and there are now more horses with steeplechase handicap ratings of 140 or greater than at any time in the past as evidenced by six chase winners at Cheltenham, including three Grade 1's.

The fall rate per ride in flat racing decreased to 0.3%. Commenting on the Medical Statistics and in particular the decrease in the fall rate in flat racing Turf Club Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Adrian McGoldrick said that “only 11 of the 35 falls in flat racing occurred during racing and that only one of the falls resulted in a concussion.” In relation to national hunt racing, Dr. McGoldrick said “there were 14 concussions on the racecourse with six of the 14 riders passing their concussion test after six days which is the minimum stand down period.” He also stressed the importance of “riders and their families, trainers and owners being aware of the symptoms of concussion so that riders who suffer a concussion while riding out do not slip through the net.”

Full details of the statistics are attached.

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