Today, (New Year’s Eve) at Punchestown Racecourse, The Association of Irish Racecourses has announced an extension to its financial support of Irish Injured Jockeys for a further three years. The association representing all 26 Irish racecourses has pledged a combined total donation of €369,000 paid to the charity during this period. This donation will go towards IIJ running costs in an effort to ensure that public income raised through donations and fundraisers will go to Irish Injured Jockeys service users and beneficiaries.
Building on the existing positive relationship between the racecourses, jockeys and the charity, AIR members unanimously committed to this scheme at their recent AGM. Racecourse donations are set on a scaled basis depending on the racecourse grade and each track pays their pledged amount to Irish Injured Jockeys direct.
Conor O’Neill, Chairman of the AIR and CEO of Punchestown Racecourse, said: “Jockeys are the cornerstone of racing, providing racegoers with great days out and brilliant racing memories, however, we are acutely aware that it is a high-risk sport and the extraordinary physical demands our jockeys face for our sporting pleasure. Irish racecourses enjoy superb relationships with jockeys and greatly value the time they give us to promote our wonderful sport each year. In recognition of that, the Association of Irish Racecourses is delighted to formally demonstrate our commitment with €123,000 per year for the next three years to support the incredible work the Irish Injured Jockeys do.”
Ruby Walsh, Champion National Hunt Jockey and IIJ Chairman, commented: “On behalf of the Irish Injured Jockeys, I would like to sincerely thank and acknowledge the 26 racecourses for their support. The extension of their financial commitment for another three years is massive for IIJ and testament to the great relationship we have with the racecourses. Their support will allow us to continue the important work we do and expand our services to riders. Their support towards IIJ running costs is a noble gesture and a remarkable contribution for which we are most grateful.”