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Hundreds of horses are dying at races around Ireland
29 June 2018

Hundreds of horses are dying at races around Ireland, shocking new statistics reveal. The damning "equine fatality" figures - released for the first time ever this month - finally lift the lid on the appalling level of suffering and death in horse racing.

Further to a Dail Question from Clare Daly TD, Horse Racing Ireland has revealed that 779 horses have been killed at races here in the past six years. That includes 116 horse deaths since the start of 2017.

Out of the 779 fatalities, 562 occurred at racecourses and 217 at point-to-points (races organised by foxhunts).

Horse deaths at Irish racecourses

2017: 88
2016: 83
2015: 89
2014: 99
2013: 121
2012: 82

Horse deaths at point-to-point races

2017-18: 28
2016-17: 32
2015-16: 36
2014-15: 30
2013-14: 42
2012-13: 49

Horse Racing Ireland did not release pre-2012 death data, saying it "was collected in a different fashion and may not be verifiable".

Irish horses are not only dying in Ireland but also in the UK. As reported by ICABS earlier this month, 44 Irish thoroughbred horses have already died in the UK so far this year.

On its Race Horse Death Watch website, Animal Aid has revealed that 79 horses lost their lives on racecourses around the UK since January 1st, with over half of them from Ireland. Irish horses have died at races in the UK every month this year and every month last year. In 2017, at least 83 Irish horses lost their lives at UK races.


The Irish horse racing industry has received €900 million of taxpayers' money since 2001, including €64 million in funding for 2018. The government's squandering of scarce public money on horse racing is particularly deplorable at a time when our country's health and housing is in crisis and so many worthy causes are crying out for funds. Urge Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to end the funding.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2
Telephone: +353 (0)1-6194020
Tweet to: @campaignforLeo
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