Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Horse and Greyhound Fund

Photo of Gerry AdamsGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the primary purpose of the horse and greyhound fund; and if it should be used to provide funding for the prize money for races. [57425/12]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund (the Fund) was established under section 12(1) of the Horse and Greyhound Racing Act 2001 (the Act) for the purpose of giving support to the horse and greyhound racing industries. The commitment of public monies through the Fund to investment in the sectors has enabled Ireland to develop into a world centre of excellence for horseracing, greyhound racing and breeding.

Section 12(8) of the Act states that Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) and Bord na gCon shall apply moneys paid to them from the Fund only in the performance of their functions.

One of the general functions of HRI under section 8(1) of the Act is the stake holding of prize money for horse races.

Section 16 (1)(c)(i) of the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958 states that the Board of Bord na gCon may apply its funds to the increase of stake money and prizes.

Prize money produces a significant multiplier effect. The HRI “Fact Book 2011” shows that HRI contributed €34m to prize money in 2008. A report entitled “Analysis of the economic impact of the Irish Thoroughbred Horse Industry”, Alan Dukes (2009), showed that in the same year (2008) owners spent €290m on horses in training and racing fees which in turn provided support for rural employment across the country.

In Ireland, in the horse racing industry, 24% of winning prize money is distributed to trainers, riders and stable staff.


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