AS Killarney gets set to raise the white flag on the first of a five-day festival of racing on Monday, it has been confirmed that the horse breeding and racing industries in Kerry generate an economic return of almost €65 million per annum.
This is the key finding of a regional economic impact study conducted by Horse Racing Ireland and Deloitte, which was published today.
The study highlights the economic reach of the industry in the county, with almost 250 jobs in direct, indirect and secondary employment, and it found that Kerry has 50 registered breeders and over 40 horses are in training in the region.
Kerry has produced a host of leading racing figures in recent years, including Cheltenham Festival winning trainer Tom Cooper, Gold Cup winning jockey Bryan Cooper and Killarney’s Jim Culloty is a three-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winning jockey and trained Lord Windermere to win the race in 2014.
More recently, brothers Jack and Paddy Kennedy are flying the flag for the county with their continued success in the saddle as is Oisin Murphy who is likely to be crowned champion jockey in Britain this year.
Killarney racecourse, renowned the world over as one of the most scenic, holds its popular five-day July festival next week and the star attraction will be Frankie Dettori who will ride at the track on Wednesday.
Killarney will also host a four-day meeting in August and the following month attention will switch to Listowel for the seven-day Harvest Festival which begins on Sunday, September 8.
Brian Kavanagh, CEO of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “The popularity of Kerry’s racecourses underpins the tradition of racing excellence in the county and it is an ambition of Horse Racing Ireland to build on the success of both the breeding and racing industries, increasing the numbers employed and adding to an already impressive contribution to the local economy.”
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