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‘Owners Go Free’ days announced

Some good news to get the year off to a flying start, as the Association of Irish Racecourses’ popular Racehorse Owners Scheme is back for 2023!

Irish racecourses nationwide have collectively nominated in excess of 100 race meetings at which owners who have a horse in training can obtain free access on presentation of their AIR admission card. It is important to note that 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 our industry by members of the Association of Irish Racecourses. AIR represents those who own or operate all of the 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. Owners can attend in excess of 100 race days 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 of the 26 racecourses north and south, and this is a significant concession by each and every one of them. Our member racecourses have shown great determination throughout this past year, from racing behind closed doors to a phased reopening, everchanging restrictions, and finally to welcoming our valued spectators back fully to our racecourses. I’m very proud that the Racehorse Owners Scheme is back again without exception.”


Regina Byrne, general manager of the Association of Irish Racehorse Owners (AIRO), said: “AIRO has a very good working relationship with the Association of Irish Racecourses, and with the member tracks it represents. We very much welcome and appreciate the news that AIR is continuing the Racehorse Owners Scheme for 2023, in recognition of the owner’s continued support to the industry. The scheme adds value to the overall racehorse ownership product which is very important.”

The Association of Irish Racehorse Owners promotes and protects the interests of Irish racehorse owners. The Association is run by Byrne, and overseen by a board of directors who give of their time voluntarily for the betterment of every member. AIRO has grown rapidly in recent years and has over 2,000 members, representing a broad spectrum, from the smallest syndicate member to the highest profile owners in Ireland.


Full details
For full details of the Racecourse Owners Scheme, and how to avail of the free admission to over 100 days of racing at your favourite racecourses throughout the year, visit the relevant section on the Association of Irish Racecourses’ website There you can download and print the full 2023 calendar.

Meanwhile, the January and February dates to note for your diary are:

  • Clonmel on Thursday, January 12th
  • Down Royal on Tuesday, January 25th
  • Naas on Sunday, January 29th
  • Limerick on Tuesday, January 31st
  • Dundalk on Friday, February 3rd
  • Thurles on Thursday, February 9th
  • Dundalk on Friday, February 10th
  • Dundalk on Friday, February 17th
  • Punchestown on Sunday, February 19th
  • Dundalk on Friday, February 24th

The Association of Irish Racecourses would like to use this column to thank its members for coming together to put this in place for racehorse owners. AIR and its members are looking forward to welcoming all racehorse owners to its free days at Ireland’s 26 racecourses very soon.

By Leo Powell

Irish Field 

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