FIRST things first. The Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) would like to wish all its members, and the many people who visit its 26 member racecourses, a happy new year. Hopefully you all had a lovely Christmas and they wish you all the very best for a healthy and happy 2022!

Now for some good news. AIR’s popular Racehorse Owners Scheme is back again for 2022! Irish racecourses nationwide have collectively nominated over 100 race meetings where owners who have a horse returned in training can obtain free access on presentation of their AIR admission card.

This operates irrespective of whether or not the owner has a runner on that particular race day.

This is a significant concession by racecourses to racehorse owners and is further recognition of the importance of the role played by owners within the industry by members of the Association of Irish Racecourses. The Association represents those who own or operate all 26 racecourses nationwide.

Paddy Walsh, chief executive of AIR, commented: “Racehorse owners are the lifeblood of our industry and the members of the Association of Irish Racecourses recognise that fully. Due to strict covid protocol, owners have missed out on enjoying racehorse ownership experiences at many of our racecourses over the past couple of years.

Tough time

“Our members have had a very tough time of it also. Despite the fact that many of them are struggling as commercial entities as a result of these restrictions, they all immediately bought into the Racehorse Owners Scheme without exception, and I’m very proud of that. Owners can attend in excess of 100 racedays free of charge, regardless of whether they have a runner on the day or not, thanks to our members. We represent those who own and or operate all 26 racecourses north and south and this is a significant concession by each and every one of them.”

Regina Byrne, general manager of the Association of Irish Racehorse Owners, said: “Our organisation has a very good working relationship with the Association of Irish Racecourses and the member tracks it represents. We very much welcome and appreciate the news that AIR are to reinstate the Racehorse Owners Scheme for 2022 in recognition of the owner’s continued support of the industry. The scheme adds value to the overall racehorse ownership product which is so important.”

Full details

For full details of the Racehorse Owners Scheme, and how to avail of free admission to over 100 days of racing at your favourite racecourses throughout the year, visit where you can download and print the full 2022 calendar. Please note however that the Racehorse Owners Scheme is subject to public health guidelines, industry protocols and restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Association of Irish Racecourses would like to take this opportunity to wish all their members, industry stakeholders, suppliers, valued patrons and readers of The Irish Field every good wish for the new year. They look forward to seeing you at their member’s racecourses very soon!

In January the following courses will operate the Racecourse Owners Scheme – Clonmel on Thursday 6th, Down Royal on Tuesday 25th and Naas on Sunday 30th.