Invitation to Irish Harness Racing Public Consultation Meetings

Posted on 10th April 2018

The Irish Harness Racing Association (IHRA) is the National Representative body of the harness racing industry in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

In late 2016 the Minister for Agriculture Food & Marine Mr Michael Creed T.D. commissioned an independent review into the sector and duly appointed International Consultants Indecon following an EU tender process. Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. published the Indecon Review of the Irish Harness Racing Sector in November 2017.

Commenting on the Review, the Minister said:
I am delighted to be able to publish this report which will provide the sport with a road map for its potential development. From the outset, I can support the recommendations within my Department’s remit.

Central to the recommendations within the Indecon Review is the development of a 5 Year Strategic Plan for the Sector and we are currently in the process of compiling this with a view to the development of the industry in Ireland and Northern Ireland over the next 5 years.

We are inviting all interested parties who would like to have their say to open public consultation forums nationwide on 12th, 13th and 14th April 2018.

Meetings will take place at the following venues and times:

  • Thursday 12th April – Cohannon Inn Dungannon Co Tyrone (J.14 M1 Motorway) – 7-9pm
  • Friday 13th April – Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, Co Cork – 7-9pm.
  • Saturday 14th April – Clayton Hotel Dublin Airport – 2-4pm.

We wish for you to join us to participate and contribute your ideas and points of view in regard to the future direction of the industry.

Contributions to this five-year strategic plan will help to successfully articulate a clear outline and understanding of the long term vision for the harness racing industry in Ireland.

Your attendance is most welcome and vitally important to the future of our great sport.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Mark Flanagan
Chairman, Irish Harness Racing Association

I.T.H.R.F. 300 Confined Monthly Prize Draw March 2018 Winners.

Posted on 9th March 2018

The Twenty Fourth ITHRF 300 monthly prize draw took place at The Beehive Bar, Connonagh, Leap on Wednesday the 28th of March 2018.

ITHRF 300 Monthly prize draw March 2018 Winners.

  • 1st prize: €1,000: Ger Newman, Union Hall.
  • 2nd Prize: €100: Angelo Hannon, The Village Inn, Enniskeane.
  • 3rd Prize: €100: Tim Kelleher, Macroom.
  • 4th Prize: €100: Riocard O Regan, Kealnine, Bantry.

Congratulations to this months winners and thank you to all who support our monthly prize draws.

ITHRF Qualifiers.

Posted on 20th March 2018

Owners / Trainers with horses to qualify please contact any member of the panel.

ITHRF - Goleen Road Trotting Races Entries

Posted on 9th March 2018

Goleen Road Trotting Races, Sunday 11th of March 2018. Entries are now available to view online.

Report from Panel meeting: 08/03/2018

Posted on 9th March 2018

Report from Panel meeting, 08/03/2018.

  • Discussion on recently announced fees structure for 2018 with particular attention to track affiliation fees.
  • A lack of communication to the regions added to the annoyance on this issue. Proposals put forward for consideration on these and other issues to the next IHRA sub-committee meetings at the end of March.
  • The outcome of these issues will be put forward for debate at an ITHRF General Meeting in early April. Reports given from IHRA sub committees on initial meetings which will also be given at the General Meeting.
  • New handicap system explained.
  • Agreed to increase Prize Money at ITHRF race meetings.
  • Update on the lottery given.
  • Calendar of events discussed:
    • Portmarnock opening 1st April.
  • ITHRF Provisional Dates:
    • May 13th, Venue to be confirmed.
    • May 20th, Inchydoney.
    • May 27th, Manch.
    • June 3rd, Dundalk.
    • June 9th, Workouts (venue to be confirmed).
    • June 10th, Clonakilty Show (Penalty free).
    • June 16/17th, Red John Memorial, Lyre.
    • June 23/24th, Grendon Portmarnock.
    • June 29 or 30th, Lissangle.
    • Dates for July/August/Sept will be added asap.
  • Matters of concern to members should be raised with panel members as originally envisaged rather than on social media as this invites negative responses and reflects poorly on our sport with the public and sponsors.

I.T.H.R.F. 300 Confined Monthly Prize Draw February 2018 Winners.

Posted on 8th March 2018

The Twenty Third ITHRF 300 monthly prize draw took place at The Fastnet Bar, Goleen on Wednesday the 7th of March 2018.

ITHRF 300 Monthly prize draw February 2018 Winners.

  • 1st prize: €1,000: Geraldine O' Mahony, Acres, Drimoleague.
  • 2nd Prize: €100: John Daly, Derrygrea, Drimoleague.
  • 3rd Prize: €100: Kitty Collins, The Mills, Skibbereen.
  • 4th Prize: €100: MaryRose Shanahan, Clounties, Leap.

Congratulations to this months winners and thank you to all who support our monthly prize draws.

ITHRF 300 Prize Draw Postponed.

Posted on 28th of February 2018

Due to the Adverse weather conditions the ITHRF 300 prize draw is been postponed until next Wednesday night, the 7th of March at the Fastnet Bar Goleen.

ITHRF - Goleen Road Trotting Races Online Entries

Posted on 26th February 2018

Online Entries are now open for Goleen Road Trotting Races, Sunday 11th of March 2018. Click on the Link to access the Road Trotting Online Entries Form.

Entries close on Sunday Night the 4th of March at 9pm.

ITHRF Road Trotting Fixture Update

Posted on 25th of February 2018

Ballydehob Road Committee have informed the ITHRF that they will not be staging their annual road Races for 2018.

Red John Memorial 2018 Online Nomination Form.

Posted on 14th February 2018


Red John Memorial 2 day racing festival has been re scheduled to a new date for 2018 and takes place at Lyre Clonakilty on Saturday June 16th & Sunday June 17th.

Red John Memorial Pace & Maven Trot:

  • Nomination fee €100 due 16th March.
  • 1st sustaining fee €100 due 16th April.
  • Final sustaining fee €100 due 16th May.

Oakwood Stud 3 Yr Old Grass Pacing Championship:

  • Nomination fee €50 due 16th March.
  • 1st sustaining fee €50 due 16th April.
  • Final sustaining fee €50 due 16th May.

Click on the Link below for the Red John Memorial 2018 Online Nomination Form for entries.

Red John Memorial Nomination Form 2018

Please contact the IHRA Office 01-5310365 regarding payment once entry is submitted.

I.T.H.R.F. 300 Confined Monthly Prize Draw January 2018 Winners.

Posted on 1st February 2018

The Twenty Second ITHRF 300 monthly prize draw took place at The Tanyard Bar, Skibbereen on Wednesday the 31st of January 2018.

ITHRF 300 Monthly prize draw January 2018 Winners.

  • 1st prize: €1,000: Richard Joyce, Bandon.
  • 2nd Prize: €100: Aidan Hayes, Skibbereen.
  • 3rd Prize: €100: Donal Finn, Skibbereen.
  • 4th Prize: €100: Tadhg O' Reilly, Drimoleague.

Congratulations to this months winners and thank you to all who support our monthly prize draws.

ITHRF - Skibbereen All Ireland Road Trotting Races Entries

Posted on 23rd January 2018

Skibbereen All Ireland Road Trotting Races, Sunday 28th of January 2018. Entries are now available to view online.

Skibbereen to host the All Ireland Road Trotting Championships on Sunday 28th January 2018

Posted on 17th January 2018

The annual Memorial Day in Skibbereen has proved one of the biggest meeting on The Winter Road Trotting circuit and this year the event takes on an even bigger significance as The famous Marsh Road venue on the outskirts of "Skibb" will host the 2108 All Ireland Road Trotting Championships the blue riband of the Road Racing season.

Committee member Donal Murphy takes up the story.

"Memorial Day here in Skibbereen has always had a high profile and this year we felt that staging the All Ireland would further enhance this great meeting. So an application was made to the governing body and our request was granted.
The Marsh Road has always been a venue to attract the crowds and the annual influx of harness racing fans from Dublin, Scotland, Wales and the UK has added a real international flavor to the day.
To be fair we have a great committee here and our sponsors are loyal to us." added Murphy.

The talk all season has been the meetings of Maitha Buachaill and Rhyds Ponder and last week Tactician Du Lys came between the two arch rivals in his best run so far this year. The emergance of Saunders Paris as a real contender has really wet the appetites of followers of this sport which is unique to West Cork.

Online Entries are now open for all races. Click on the Link to access the Road Trotting Online Entries Form.
If you wish to run your horse in the All Ireland please indicate it by selecting 'Yes' on the online Entry Form.

Entries close on Sunday Night the 21st of January at 9pm.

Pacer for sale

Posted on 15th of January 2018

Pacer for Sale - Talented Man, 10 year old by Cam Security and Stoneriggs Talent.

Grade F in sulkey and Grade C in saddle.

Contact Kieran on 086\3121581 for further info.

ITHRF - Skibbereen Road Trotting Races Online Entries

Posted on 15th January 2018

Online Entries are now open for Skibbereen Road Trotting Races, Sunday 28th of January 2018. Click on the Link to access the Road Trotting Online Entries Form.

Entries close on Sunday Night the 21st of January at 9pm.

ITHRF Message Of Sympathy.

Posted on 12th January 2018


The ITHRF wish to extend our deepest sympathy to our friend and colleague John Boyle on the passing of his wife Shelia.

May she Rest In Peace.

Rosary on Saturday evening at 9pm in her home.
Reposing on Sunday evening at Stack's Funeral Home, Doneraile from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, followed by removal to the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Doneraile.
Requiem Mass on Monday at 1pm. Funeral afterwards to Oldcourt Cemetery, Doneraile.

ITHRF - Ballygurteen Road Trotting Races Entries

Posted on 10th January 2018

Ballygurteen Road Trotting Races, Sunday 14th of January 2018. Entries are now available to view online.

Application For Membership on IHRA Sub-Committees.

Posted on 2nd January 2018

The Government supported and funded an independent Economic Report into the sport and industry of Harness Racing in Ireland was released in November. This document is the road-map for the development of the sport in the Isle of Ireland going forward.

Through this Report, there is the means for upgrading and new tracks, stabling and equine facilities – in all three regions – Annaghmore, Cork and Dublin.

Following the Reports’ recommendations will deliver longer-term benefits to all participants and stakeholders including:

  • A greater opportunity to race.
  • Receiving larger prize money.
  • Being part of bigger race championships.
  • Enjoying greater industry support for your horse.
  • Receiving best practice veterinary care.
  • Increasing the means to purchase and breed horses.
  • Utilising optimum facilities for both training and on race day.

For any organisation to oversee an industry or sport, correct operation and governance structures must be in place.

Areas of management by IHRA Board will be:

  • Finance including Budgets, Audit and Risk Committee.
  • Strategic Planning.
  • Capital Expenditure.
  • Nominations and Remunerations.
  • Marketing, PR & Integration.
  • Welfare and Veterinary.

To ensure voices from Members and Stakeholders are heard this structure sees the establishment of sub-committees including:

  • Breeding Committee.
  • Racecourse Committee.
  • Stakeholders Committee.

Sub-Committees will be the key operating component of the sport going forward. Members of these Committees will be instrumental in shaping the future direction of the sport of Harness Racing on the Isle of Ireland.

The purpose of these sub-committees is to act as a collective within the specified area and review the existing practises and identify the needs of future development. Recommendations will then be put to the IHRA Board for approval and implementation.

Three Sub-Committees have vacancies for Members and Stakeholders. These are:

  • Breeding Committee.
  • Racecourse Committee.
  • Stakeholders Committee.

If you believe you have the skill-set to make a difference in the development of Irish harness racing and the time and dedication, please consider putting yourself forward.

Further details on the IHRA – SUB-COMMITTEE JOB DESCRIPTIONS can be viewed on the IHRA website.

ITHRF - Ballygurteen Road Trotting Races Online Entries

Posted on 1st January 2018

Online Entries are now open for Ballygurteen Road Trotting Races, Sunday 14th of January 2018. Click on the Link to access the Road Trotting Online Entries Form.

Entries close on Sunday Night the 7th of January at 9pm.

ITHRF - Durrus Road Trotting Races, New Years Day 2018 Entries

Posted on 29th December 2017

Durrus Road Trotting Races, Monday 1st of January 2018. Entries are now available to view online.

I.T.H.R.F. 300 Confined Monthly Prize Draw December 2017 Winners.

Posted on 28th December 2017

The Twenty First ITHRF 300 monthly prize draw took place at Joe Mc Carthys Bar, Ballygurteen on Thursday the 28th of December 2017.

ITHRF 300 Monthly prize draw December 2017 Winners.

  • 1st prize: €1,000: Lily Jennings, Leap.
  • 2nd Prize: €100: Patsy Duggan, Rosscarbery.
  • 3rd Prize: €100: John Hill, Leap.
  • 4th Prize: €100: Barry O' Brien, Irish Whip, Ballydehob.

Congratulations to this months winners and thank you to all who support our monthly prize draws.

Winning Drive For Seamus Quill in Austrailia.

Posted on 27th of December 2017

Congratulations to the Quill Family from all at the ITHRF on the winning drive of Seamus Quill at Shepparton in Austrailia.

ITHRF - Drimoleague Road Trotting Races are going ahead

Posted on 26th December 2017

Drimoleague Road Trotting Races, Tuesday 26th of December 2017 are going ahead today as scheduled. First race at 2pm sharp.

ITHRF - Drimoleague Road Trotting Races, St Stephens Day 2017 Entries

Posted on 21st December 2017

Drimoleague Road Trotting Races, Tuesday 26th of December 2017. Entries are now available to view online.

ITHRF - Durrus Road Trotting Races Online Entries

Posted on 19th December 2017

Online Entries are now open for Durrus Road Trotting Races, New Years Day, Monday 1st of January 2018. Click on the Link to access the Road Trotting Online Entries Form.

Entries close on Tuesday Night the 26th of December at 9pm.

ITHRF - Drimoleague Road Trotting Races Online Entries

Posted on 10th December 2017

Online Entries are now open for Drimoleague Road Trotting Races, St Stephens Day, Tuesday 26th of December 2017. Click on the Link to access the Road Trotting Online Entries Form.

Entries close on Sunday Night the 17th of December at 9pm.

I.T.H.R.F. 300 Confined Monthly Prize Draw November 2017 Winners.

Posted on 30th November 2017

The Twentieth ITHRF 300 monthly prize draw took place at The Village Inn, Enniskeane on Wednesday the 29th of November 2017.

ITHRF 300 Monthly prize draw November 2017 Winners.

  • 1st prize: €1,000: Con O' Sullivan, Bandon.
  • 2nd Prize: €100: Robert Deane, Dunmanway.
  • 3rd Prize: €100: Clodagh Helen, Goleen.
  • 4th Prize: €100: Anthony Mc Carthy, Drimoleague.

Congratulations to this months winners and thank you to all who support our monthly prize draws.

Dates For the 2018 Red John Memorial Festival Of Harness Racing Launched

Posted on 28th of November 2017

The dates for the 2018 Red John Memorial Festival of Harness Racing in Lyre, Clonakilty West Cork were released this week.

Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th of June 2018 have been chosen for the 4th running of the event which honors the late “Red” John O' Donovan from Leap who tragically passed away in Janurary 2015.

From humble beginings the festival has grown to become the biggest turf meetings in Ireland and the UK. In 2017 the meeting moved from Manch to Lyre approx 5km from the bustling town of Clonakilty.

Caroline Collins of the RJM committee takes up the story:

“In 2015 and 2016 we raced in Manch but due to farming of the venue we could only avail of around 1/3 of the field and with Bill Donovan a leading owner in the USA coming on board as our major sponsor we felt we needed a bigger venue. James Hurley and Donal Murphy came to us saying that a venue in Lyre would be worth looking at and Ger Hegarty who owns the high quality dairy farm where the track is located was willing to allow us use the venue.
This year the event grew beyond our expectations with massive crowds flocking to the meeting. When the dust settled we began planning for 2018. To be fair Ger Hegarty was anxious to improve the track and remedial works have been carried out to get a few “bumps” out of the track. As the venue is a top class dairy farm we looked at the dates and came up with mid June as the best possible date. June is traditionally a month when there is no big clashes with other festival meetings and the weather is more predictable at that time as well.
People say you learn from your mistakes and we as a committee set very high standards to ensure we can offer the best to all who attend. We sat down and ironed out the mistakes and look ahead with real excitement. 2018 will again see The Maven Trotting Derby and the Red John Memorial Pace as our main events. One issue that struck us was that we needed to accomadate as many pacers as possible so this year we are along with The Red John Memorial we are having a Low Grade handicap for pacers. This ensures that every pacer can have a crack at the big prizes on offer. Again there will be three sustaining payments for The Maven and RJM. We will be posting details of payment dates over the next few weeks.”

So its all systems go for the 2018 Red John Memorial Festival, June 16th and 17th are dates for your calender.

ITHRF Road & Field Racing 2017 Annual Awards Night Winners.

Posted on 27th November 2017

ITHRF Road & Field Racing 2017 Annual Awards Night Winners.

ITHRF Notice: Members meeting on Thursday, 23rd of November 2017.

Posted on 17th November 2017


A meeting to update members on the recently released Indecon Report into the Harness Racing Industry.

Date: Thursday, 23rd of November 2017

Venue: The Village Inn, Enniskeane.

Time: 7:30 PM

The meeting will discuss the plans for the future Development of a Track and Training facilities in the Cork region.

ITHRF A.G.M. Sunday, 10th of December 2017.

Posted on 11th November 2017


ITHRF Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2017.

Date: Sunday, 10th of December 2017

Venue: Drimoleague Parish Hall,

Time: 4:00 PM

All Motions for the AGM and Nominations for the 2018 ITHRF Panel in writing and signed to be sent to the ITHRF Secretary before the 19th of November.

ITHRF Secretary:
Micheal O' Donovan,
Clounties,
Leap,
Co Cork.

Indecon Report on the Irish Harness Racing Sector

Posted on 1st November 2017


The Indecon Report on the Irish Harness Racing Sector commissioned by the Department of Agriculture Food & Marine has been published today, Wednesday 1st of November.

The Indecon Report can be viewed on the Department’s website.

ITHRF Road & Field Racing 2017 Annual Awards Night, Saturday, 18th of November 2017.

Posted on 1st November 2017


ITHRF Road & Field Racing 2017 Annual Awards Night.

Date: Saturday, 18th of November 2017

Venue: Drimoleague Inn,

Time: 9:00 PM

Music and Finger Food, Great Night assured.

All are welcome to attend.

I.T.H.R.F. 300 Confined Monthly Prize Draw October 2017 Winners.

Posted on 26th October 2017

The Nineteenth ITHRF 300 monthly prize draw took place at May Deanes Bar, Drimoleague on Wednesday the 25th of October 2017.

ITHRF 300 Monthly prize draw October 2017 Winners.

  • 1st prize: €1,000: Robert Deane, Dunmanway.
  • 2nd Prize: €100: Joe Mc Carthy, Ballygurteen.
  • 3rd Prize: €100: Ned Forbes, Drimoleague.
  • 4th Prize: €100: Christy Hurley, Ballydehob.

Congratulations to this months winners and thank you to all who support our monthly prize draws.

I.T.H.R.F. 300 Confined Monthly Prize Draw September 2017 Winners.

Posted on 28th September 2017

The Eighteenth ITHRF 300 monthly prize draw took place at Lyre Bar, on Wednesday the 27th of September 2017.

ITHRF 300 Monthly prize draw September 2017 Winners.

  • 1st prize: €1,000: Pa Manning, Co Tipperary.
  • 2nd Prize: €100: Tadgh O' Reilly, Drimoleague.
  • 3rd Prize: €100: Derry Collins, C\O The Sandboat, Ballydehob.
  • 4th Prize: €100: Catherine O' Driscoll, Drimoleague.

Congratulations to this months winners and thank you to all who support our monthly prize draws.

ITHRF Road Racing Season 2018 Registration Night, Friday, 6th of October 2017.

Posted on 25th September 2017


ITHRF Road Racing Season 2018 Registration Night.

Date: Friday, 6th of October 2017

Venue: Drimoleague Inn,

Time: 9:00 PM

Discount for early registration only €10, (Normally €85) and also one off discounted Membership fee of €50.

Please make an effort to attend and give a boost to the 2018 road racing season. Road racing has been a tradition for generations, Lets build for the future.

ITHRF Road Racing Season 2018 Meeting: Wednesday, 20th of September 2017.

Posted on 13th September 2017


ITHRF Road Racing Season 2018 Meeting.

Date: Wednesday, 20th of September 2017

Venue: Drimoleague Inn,

Time: 8:30 PM

It is imperative all Owners, Trainers, Jockeys, Committees and those interested in Road Racing attend and have your say.

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