Odds On Favourites: Irish Horse Racing
Thoroughbred horses have always been close to the hearts of the people of Ireland. With more horses per head of population than in any other country in Europe and as the fourth largest producer of racehorses in the world, Ireland has become a powerhouse for racing prowess.
It’s a simple formula for success - breed the best mares and stallions, raise their foals in a temperate climate on limestone-enriched pastures and add in centuries of horsey heritage.
Across the country, the velvet muzzles, refined faces and intelligent eyes of its resident horses peep through the fences of some of the most prestigious breeding farms in the world. One of which, the Irish National Stud is owned by the people of Ireland and is home to some of the most successful stallions on the planet.
In fact, seven of the 10 top international sires call these shores home. And that’s not the only impressive number. At last year’s Royal Ascot in Britain, a crucial fixture in the international racing calendar, a record-breaking 10 Irish-trained horses were first past the post and a further 19 winners were foaled here.
Of course, Ireland is not just home to great racehorses but great racing too. Beyond parade rings, fascinators and the hotbed of bookmaker roars, the real action lies on Ireland’s 26 racecourses as tonnes of pure equine muscle battle it out in a series of exhilarating finishes.
Punters from all over the world visit Irish horse racing festivals year after year for their renowned mixture of invigorating equine action, unmistakable atmosphere and even better craic.