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Turf Cub announce 2014 Integrity Racing Statistics

The Turf Club today, Thursday, 5th February 2015, announced its Integrity Racing Statistics for 2014. 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 increased by 17% to 95
  • Whip enquiries increased by 12% to 157
  • 44 enquiries were held for rule breaches relating to riders weighing in/outThe Appeals Body and Referrals Committee dealt with 69 cases consisting of 31 appeals and 38 referrals. 61% of appeals were successful or partially successful.
  • 179 riders were drug tested and three samples were confirmed as positive, the substances found were metabolites of Cocaine (two findings) and Furosemide.
  • 822 riders were breath tested – all results were negative
  • 3,085 horses were tested for prohibited substances and there were two positive results
  • 52 apprentices were licensed. This was an 18% increase in the number of licenses issued over last year.
  • 390 qualified riders’ permits were issued. This represents a 7% decrease on last year.
  • The number of licenses issued to trainers and restricted trainers continues to fall with trainers’ licenses down by 1.3% and restricted trainers’ licenses down by 9.5%
  • The injury rate per ride in flat and national hunt racing decreased to 0.13% and 0.97% respectively

Commenting on the figures, Turf Club Chief Executive Denis Egan said that “it is disappointing that there has been an increase in the number of careless riding enquiries after the 46% drop in 2013. However, the figures are still 37% lower than the 2012 peak. The number of whip enquiries has also increased but is still considerably lower than the total prior to the new whip Rules being introduced during 2012.”

In relation to the reduction in the number of qualified riders permits issued, Denis Egan said that “the fall has continued and that this is due to stricter criteria being applied with regard to re-licensing. Riders must now be re-assessed annually if they do not fulfill the criteria with regard to the minimum number of rides in the previous year. Also contributing to the decrease is the fact that riders who now take part in charity races do not have to be licensed”.

Denis Egan said that the most worrying statistic is the continuing fall in the number of trainers and restricted trainers licences issued. He said that “the plight of the trainers has been highlighted in recent weeks with two high profile trainers deciding not to renew their licences. This is not surprising if you look at the reductions in the figures for horses-in-training and owners and unless this trend is reversed the situation will get worse for trainers before it gets better. Since 2008 the average number of horses in training has fallen by 38.7% and continued to fall in 2014. However the total number of trainers’ licences has only fallen by 17.7% in the same period. The number of owners is also falling and is 34% lower than the peak in 2008. While there have always been ups and downs in the past 20 years the average number of horses in training and owners in 2014 were at similar levels to those seen in the mid-1990’s.

Denis Egan continued “the 39% fall in the foal crop between 2008 and 2010 is one of the main reasons for the fall in the number of hunters’ certificates issued since 2008 and the fall in the foal crop has also impacted on the number of horses in training”.

Commenting on the Medical Statistics, Dr. Adrian McGoldrick said that “thankfully last year saw no further permanent spinal injuries, although we did have one case of spinal shock which causes temporary paralysis. Fortunately the rider has made a full recovery and has returned to race riding”. He also referred to a number of overseas injuries “we did have one rider suffer a very severe fracture at Cheltenham. I would like to express my gratitude to my colleagues in the U.K. for the fantastic treatment which our riders received following injuries at both Cheltenham and Aintree, likewise to my colleagues in Ireland for their follow up and rehabilitation”.

Full details of the statistics are attached.

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