Irish Horse Racing Economy

When we talk about horse racing history, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Most horse racing enthusiasts would say England, which is somewhat correct. But horse racing quickly traveled to Ireland, and now we have a country where horse racing is well embedded into their history and tradition.

Horse racing is a huge sector in Ireland. Just browsing through the winners of the most popular races in history, we can see a huge dominance of Irish horses. Even by checking the 2023 Breeders’ Cup odds by TwinSpires, you can see the horse Mostahdaf might be among the contenders.

Now that we know that horse racing is huge in Ireland, let’s dive into the much deeper water and see how horse racing affects their economy by creating jobs, and generating revenue through breeding racing and tourism.

The Impact of the Horse Racing Sector on the Irish Economy

Let’s get one thing straight from the start. The impact of the horse racing sector on a country’s economy cannot be big right?


Ireland is a country where horse racing is well embedded in its roots and traditions. On top of that, the Ireland horse racing industry expanded internationally thanks to breeding and opening doors for tourism.

Research conducted by Deloitte, suggests that the horse racing industry delivered €2.5bn to the Irish economy in 2022, and created more than 30,000 jobs.

But what does this sector cover?

Well, all horse racing activities. From breeding to training and racing and even ancillary activities that can bring a lot of money.

Even though horse racing is huge in Ireland, this number suggests that the industry is still growing. According to this research, the horse racing industry in Ireland has grown by 34% since 2016 in terms of money, and we have 1,500 horse-related jobs more.

If we take the breeding sector alone, we can see that it generates close to $1 billion annually. Everyone wants to have an Irish champion running in their horse bloodlines, right?

But, these are not the only horse racing sectors generating money for their economy.


Now, let’s talk turkey—money, that is. Betting is at the heart of horse racing economics. The Irish have a penchant for placing bets, and it’s a symbiotic relationship. 

Punters wager their hopes and dreams, and the industry thrives on the adrenaline-fueled excitement. Whether it’s a cheeky bet at the local pub or a high-stakes wager at the racecourse, money flows like a river.

The betting sector in Ireland is also huge. On-course betting is quite popular and tracks like Leopardstown and Gowran are leading with revenue generated from betting. There is no actual data on the impact of betting on the Irish economy, but we can safely assume that this sector alone generates billions of dollars each year.

Employment and Tourism

Let’s talk about employment, shall we? The Irish horse racing sector is a bustling hub of job opportunities. From stable hands who know the quirks of every horse to trainers with an eagle eye for talent, and not forgetting the unsung heroes in the administrative trenches—thousands earn their daily bread thanks to this vibrant industry. It’s like a job fair but with hay and oats.

Horse racing isn’t just for the locals; it’s a global magnet for tourists. International visitors descend upon Irish racecourses like the Curragh and Punchestown, turning race days into vibrant celebrations of sport and culture. It’s not just about winning bets; it’s about creating unforgettable memories in the heart of Ireland.

Global Ambassadors of the Sport

Last but not least, the power of the horse racing industry in Ireland is boosted by all the Irish trainers, jockeys, and horses that travel to international horse racing events and they bring all their prize purses at home.

Their success amplifies Irish racing reputation and attracts many partnerships from all around the world which also can have a huge impact on the country’s economy.

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.

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