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Minister McEntee Highlights the Importance of the Horse Racing Industry to Ireland

Speaking at the National Hunt Awards in Dunboyne, the Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Shane McEntee TD, highlighted the enormous contribution made by the bloodstock industry across the entire country noting "Approximately 17,300 people are employed in the thoroughbred industry in Ireland, mostly in rural areas and it attracts significant inward investment to the country. The gross value of the industry exceeded €0.9bn in 2010". Minister McEntee also noted "Ireland is the fourth largest breeder of thoroughbreds in the world. In excess of 40% of the EU output of thoroughbreds and 11% of the total worldwide are produced in Ireland. The value of Irish thoroughbred exports was an estimated €157m in 2011 up from €147m in 2010".

The Minister praised our success in the 2011/2012 season stating "The Irish horse racing industry continues to enjoy great success in the UK. In 2011 Irish-trained horses had remarkable success in the UK and overseas, with a 53% increase in prize money won abroad totalling €13 million. The World Thoroughbred Rankings show that 6 of the top 10 two-year-olds in the world in 2011 were Irish-trained. Cheltenham 2012 saw five Irish trained winners. In addition to our five winners we had a remarkable 13 second places. It is an honour for me to be associated with an industry that continues to excel and that dominates the racing world".

The Minister said "I wish to extend my congratulations to the individual breeders, trainers and jockeys and also to the various organizations that are so essential to this industry's success. The Irish thoroughbred industry is to be congratulated in the manner in which it continues to excel and achieve on the international stage."

Minister McEntee also took the opportunity to "to pay tribute to the enormous contribution that our jockeys make to the sport. We all recognise that jockeys risk life and limb on a daily basis as they ply their trade, we salute the bravery, skill and professionalism with which they go about their daily work and we also acknowledge the role of our trainers and those of R.A.C.E. in training and upskilling our young jockeys here in Ireland". 

Minister McEntee concluded by thanking "the Turf Club for their invitation here this evening, and to wish each of the winners' of these prestigious awards sincere congratulations on their achievements during the 2011/2012 season".

Date Released: 30 April 2012