Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (ITBA)









Ireland is the leader in Europe in terms of foals number. Racing and Breeding tradition is firmly rooted in Irish culture and this industry has a substantial presence in the national economy.


Ireland is an agricultural country with 32 counties all of which have breeders, mares, foals and horses in training. There are a number of main hubs in the country, namely counties of Kildare, Tipperary, Wexford and Cork.


The Thoroughbred industry is acknowledged as one of Ireland’s indigenous success stories. It directly employs approximately 17,000 individuals and thousands more indirectly throughout rural Ireland.


Ireland is an export nation exporting to 39 countries in 2014. It is important to note that Great Britain, its largest export market, is not included in this figure. A total of 2,179 horses were exported in 2013 with the figure of 1,788 recorded for 2014. It should be noted that the 2014 figure will increase as export applications are frequently received in the following year. Also noted is an average of 1,300 horses are exported to the UK annually. The value of exports for Irish foaled horses in 2014 was approximately €180 million.


There are 26 racecourses in Ireland with a total of 347 fixtures and a total attendance of 1,285 million people in 2014.


Total on course betting in 2014 accounted for €139 million. The monies allocated to the industry from the betting levy for 2014 was €27million.

Economic Impact

The Thoroughbred industry in Ireland is highly successful and globally competitive. It makes a direct contribution of approximately €1.1 billion to the Irish economy.

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Irish Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (ITBA)

Chairman: Derek Iceton
Chief Executive: Shane O’Dwyer

Kill Co. Kildare
+353 45 877 543
+353 86 855 50 55
+353 45 877 429