Ripples of concern have washed through the British racing industry over fears of what Brexit would mean. While popular with voters at first, the UK’s decision to leave the EU has only been causing logistical problems of every kind. The complex business relationships that have formed as part of the British EU relationships are now either completely frayed or seemingly now cumbersomely connected.
Racehorse Breeders have now raised their concerns over the implications of Brexit at the first every Irish Thoroughbreeders Association where they brought up some worrying statistics of how the racing industry in the UK will be severely impacted.
3500 breeders and industry players met in Ireland at Goff’ in Kill to discuss a variety of industry related topics including future plans, and the business impact of Brexit for breeders. Eddie O’Leary from Gigginstown House Stud was one of the key speakers at the event.
It was stated that two thirds of Irish bred horses are exported to Britain, with up to 90% of the horses sold in Britain being from Irish breeders. With Brexit negations underway, the free trade that Ireland and Britain have enjoyed will now not be valid anymore since Ireland will remain a member of the EU.
Uncertain Days Ahead
The implications are that Irish Breeders may need to go to additional expense to set up satellite operations to be able to now continue their sales to Britain. Many tariffs and other barriers could now potentially be raised with Brexit negotiations under way, the type of barriers that are non-existent with convenient online slots Canada.
At the first ever Dublin Racing Festival held this year in Leopardtown in Ireland, Joe Foley from Ballyhane Stud noted that Brexit will also hold implications for their Irish staff working in Britain. Again the logistics of Brexit has so many far reaching implications that many pro Brexit voters are now regretting their choices.
Bad For Business
Brexit has placed many businesses on the back foot. It has also caused a lot of delays in companies making expansions or purchasing or even investing. Now this has bled into the world of horse racing where as expected it turns out Britain is the one most hurt by Brexit.
Britain’s nearly €2 billion racing industry now faces an uncertain future. Breeders and businessmen are now stuck in limbo over the future of so many. Yet despite all the walls that politicians are presented with, they keep pushing the Brexit move despite the long term repercussions that will follow.
Currently in place is a three party system where France, the UK and Ireland allow free movement between each other of horses, trainers and vendors. Shane O’Dwyer summed up the ITBA’s viewpoint as “We don’t want Brexit”.
Breeders on both sides have been taking part in talks with the department of Agriculture but there are simply no answers to give. O’Dwyer quite rightly states that very few people are actually familiar with the scale of the Irish racing industry. With over 29 000 employees and over €2 billion in annual economics, this is no laughing matter.