Horse Racing Ireland has announced its new initiative ‘IRE Incentive’ scheme, which has been designed to continue the development and fortification of Irish thoroughbred breeding, racing and sales.

The IRE Incentive will award a bonus of €10,000 to owners of Irish-bred winners of 150 selected races across the Irish Flat and National Hunt programmes, which can be redeemed at public bloodstock sales in Ireland. Each owner will have until the end of the following year to spend their voucher at any Irish-based sale on another Irish-bred thoroughbred.

Commencing this Friday with the first nominated race taking place at Dundalk, qualifying races are two-year-old fillies’ maidens, two-year-old auction maidens and median auction races, three-year-old median maidens and National Hunt auction races.

Brian Kavanagh, Horse Racing Ireland’s Chief Executive, said: “The racing and bloodstock industry in Ireland has faced unprecedented and simultaneous challenges in the past year in the form of Covid-19 and Brexit, and the storm cannot be weathered by inactivity.

“We believe the IRE Incentive will deliver a strong stimulus to the business, delivering significant funds from the racetrack back to the breeders via Irish-based public auctions.

“We have seen on a regular basis – most recently at Cheltenham – the quality of horses bred in Ireland and their performances on racing’s biggest stages.”

The Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Chairman John McEnery added: “Events last week at Cheltenham showed just how desirable and formidable the Irish thoroughbred is. But standing still should never be an option from a position of strength and we commend the investment, motivation and principles behind the IRE Incentive.”