Irish Harness Racers make bid for European membership

  • 23 January 2015, 16:54

A DELEGATION from the IHRA (Irish Harness Racing Association) is travelling to Paris this weekend to make an application to the UET (European Union Trotters) for Ireland to become a full member of the union, which contains 22 countries. 

On Saturday morning in Vincennes Racetrack Paris, the IHRA will be making a presentation to all 22 member countries of the UET to demonstrate Ireland’s readiness to be part of the union. 

This will be a massive step in the IHRA’s ambitious five year business plan that will hopefully culminate in seeing Ireland competing on the European and world’s biggest stages.

Harness Racing (or trotting as it is known in Europe) is the biggest type of Horse Racing in Europe, outdoing the thoroughbreds for the No1 spot. 

European Trotting Statistics 

Total Prize Money
€467 million

Total Betting Turnover
€8 billion

Also taking place in Vincennes Racetrack in Paris this weekend is an extravagance of trotting where there will be €3 Million in prize money on offer. 

The highlight of the weekend will be the €1 Million Prix D’Amerique where all the top European trotters will compete to lift the lucrative prize.

Prix d’Amérique Opodo
Created in 1920 as a tribute to the United States’s commitment to World War 1, the Prix d’Amérique Opodo is the planet’s biggest trotting race. The star harness event brings together the world’s best performers over the classic distance of 2,700 meters.

35 Countries
which broadcast the Prix d’Amérique Opodo on 4 different continents.

1 million
The Prix d’Amérique Opodo not only boasts the highest prize money in France but is also the world’s richest race in this discipline.

40 million
The amount of bets placed, in euros, on just the Grand Prix d’Amérique race. This makes it the most bet-upon race of the year for French punters.

40,000 spectators
The number of horse lovers and racing enthusiasts who go to Paris-Vincennes on the last Sunday of every January to see the Prix d’Amérique Opodo.