Forty-Eight Hour Declarations Made Permanent In Ireland

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The Curragh | Emma Berry

Forty-eight hour declarations, adopted in Ireland from June 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, will become permanent after receiving the vote of approval from the board of Horse Racing Ireland.

“The HRI Board accepted that there were many positive reasons for retaining 48-hour declarations on a permanent basis,” said Jason Morris, director of racing at Horse Racing Ireland. “Significant commercial, marketing and operational benefits have been identified including the promotion of our sport by media and the betting industry.

“48-hour declarations are considered essential by our media rights partners when it comes to maximising our income streams from international markets, thereby driving revenues for racecourses as well as increasing the exposure of our horses for export purposes. Their permanent retention had support from associations representing racecourses, owners, and stable staff, all of whom identified the positive benefits of being able to plan further ahead. The Jockeys Association and IHRB Senior Medical Officer are also strongly supportive from a health and welfare perspective as it gives more notice to jockeys of their required riding weights and doubles the time available for them to manage any required weight loss.

“While there has been an anticipated increase in non-runners, the overall effect has not been significant as our reserve system allows for replacements–the net percentage of non-runners has only increased by 0.10 runners per race from 2019 to 2021 against the background of average field sizes increasing overall from 11.5 to 12.3 runners per race over this period.

“We acknowledge the concerns of the trainers and owners associations around the timetable for making entries and we will explore with the IRTA and AIRO whether beneficial changes can be made to the current entry schedule.”

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