The horse breeding and racing industries in County Kerry generate an economic return of almost €65m per annum. This is the key finding of a Regional Economic Impact Study conducted by Horse Racing Ireland and Deloitte, which is 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 has found that County Kerry has 50 registered breeders and that over 40 horses are in training in the region.
Kerry has produced a host of leading racing figures in recent years. Cheltenham Festival winning trainer Tom Cooper is based close to Tralee and is the father of Gold Cup winning jockey Bryan Cooper. 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 racecourses, holds its tremendously popular five-day July festival next week and the star attraction will be Frankie Dettori who will ride at the track on Wednesday.
Killarney hosts a four-day meeting in August and the following month attention switches to Listowel for the seven-day Harvest Festival which begins on Sunday, September 8 and is home to one of the best attended race days of the year for the Guinness Kerry National on Friday, September 13.
Brian Kavanagh, CEO of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “This new report really does underline the incredible impact the industry has on every corner of the country. The popularity of Kerry’s racecourses at Killarney and Listowel 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.”