The Board of Directors, Management and all the members of AIRO were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend and former manager Aiden Burns.
Aiden Burns was a Gentleman. He was committed to the betterment of Irish racing and represented Owners with the highest integrity in a good humoured, kind and professional manner for nearly two decades.
He was an avid golfer and a big racing fanatic and combined both when organising the Blackbush Golf Club Syndicate in 1998. He had many horses in training over the years and the most prolific winner was with his golfing friends when Miss Orchestra won the Midlands National in Uttoxeter for trainer Jessica Harrington.
An accountant by trade, Aiden assumed the role of General Manager of the Association of Irish Racehorse Owners (AIRO) in 2004 having been involved in the association for many year prior to that. For over sixteen years he dedicated his time and efforts to enhancing the experiences for racehorse Owners in Ireland, he was instrumental in building the association to over 2000 members and amassed a legion of friends on the Irish Racing circuit and beyond during his tenure. Aiden offered his letter of resignation in 2020 and delayed his retirement to allow the board time to find his replacement. Sadly, his retirement was cut short and after battling illness bravely over the past few months, he passed away on Saturday 28th January, 2023.
Aiden, was predeceased by his beloved wife Patricia (Pat) and he will be fondly remembered for his kindness, good humour and his unfailing commitment to Irish Owners and by all his friends at AIRO and in Irish Racing.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam…
The funeral arrangements are as follows:
AIRO Award Winners 2022 - Caroline Norris
The Association of Irish Racehorse Owners held their Annual Awards evening in the magnificent surroundings of the recently refurbished Cashel Palace Hotel in Co. Tipperary on Friday evening.
Racehorse owners, trainers and sponsors were joined by Minister of State Martin Heydon to celebrate the successes of Irish Owners on the racetrack in 2022. AIRO Chairman David Hyland welcomed the guests and Minister Heydon spoke of Ireland’s global position in the Racing & Breeding industry and noted the investment that Owners and Government make to insure its continuance and congratulated all winners in his pre-dinner address.
The Racing Dream award went to American Grand National winner Hewick, who despite his initial price tag has taken the world by storm much to the delight of his delighted owner T J McDonald from Co Kildare. The Magic Lads Syndicate from Trim in Meath were honoured with the Syndicates/Racing club award for the exploits of Magic Chegaga in Galway during the summer. Homebred’s Kyprios and Homeless Songs were responsible for the Owner/Breeder award going to Moyglare Stud Farm’s owner Eva Maria Haefner Boucher. The new Owner Award this year went to Owners Noel and Valerie Moran’s Bective stud while the Champion owners National Hunt and flat were JP McManus and Mrs John Magnier.
The Irish sales companies were tasked with selecting their respective Sales Selection award. Goffs selected the Ger Lyons ownership combination of Sean Jones, David Spratt and Mrs Lynne Lyons as their winner while Tattersalls Ireland chose Derby Sale graduate Honeysuckle’s owner Kenneth Alexander as their sales selection.
Another new award category to be introduced this year was the overseas owner aimed to celebrate foreign owners who choose to have their horses trained in Ireland. The first winners of this award was Cheveley Park Stud following their tremendous successes with national hunt superstars like Allaho, Sir Gerhard and Cheltenham Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard to name a few of their winners for trainers Willie Mullins and Henry deBromhead.
HRI’s Vicki McWey, who works closely with owners in the registration department was awarded the services to the industry award for her dedication and hard-work in ensuring that all Owners needs are facilitated in a good-humoured and professional manner. The sponsors award was also introduced this year so Owners can show their appreciation to sponsors who support the racing industry. Ireland largest sponsor the Irish EBF were deserved winners and John O’Connor was on hand to accept the accolade.
AIRO members were asked to select the winner of the Racecourse award and the overwhelming winners this year was Naas Racecourse. Owners noted their friendly staff, fantastic atmosphere and exceptional owners facilities, great food and viewing areas as just some of the reasons for their selection and Naas Racecourse director David Cox accepted the award on their behalf.
The final two people awards were very special, Mrs Maureen Mullins, Matriarch of Ireland finest racing dynasty was awarded the Racing Personality award while John and Susan Magnier were honoured as the first inductees into the Irish Owners Hall of Fame.
Our sponsors for the evening included Mount Falcon Estate, Darley Ireland, ITBA, Coolmore Stud, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, Goffs, Tattersalls Ireland, Connolly Red Mills, HRI Ownership Dept, Oghill House Stud, The Irish Field and Ballylinch Stud and Weatherbys Ireland. Their sponsorship was paramount to the success of the evening and we are eternally grateful for their support. AIRO would like to thank the commentator on Racing TV for their assistance in the selection process of some of the award winners. Richard Pugh was tasked with the role of master of ceremonies and was ably assisted by Jane Mangan who was on interviewing duties of award winners.
Award winners were presented with a fabulous charcoal portrait of their horses by artist Jason O’Ceannobhain while the people awards were presented with beautiful bespoke pieces by sculptor Linda Hoyle.
AIRO’s awards committee chaired by Vice-Chairman Caren Walsh with fellow directors Richie Galway, Sandra Fox and Manager Regina Byrne were responsible for putting together such a great evening of celebration.
AIRO were delighted to once again sponsor the Dundalk Winter Series for 2021/22. This series is highly competitive every year and this season was no different. We sponsor two categories each year for the Horse with most Points and the Horse with most wins.
Owner & Tyrone GAA superstar Conor McKenna took the title for Horse with most points having accumulated 45 points with his horse No Speed Limit pictured above with AIRO's Acting Chairman David Hyland. This horse was a model of consistency all season for Conor's trainer and Dad Pat McKenna and we congratulate them on their success.
The Horse with Most wins for the winter series was Adams Barbour who is owned by Dr David Adam and trained in Co. Down by Lee Smyth. This was a very competitive contest and Adam's Barbour prevailed with 4 wins and 42 points, a remarkable achievement. Dr Adam was unavailable on the night but was very well represented by Lee Smyth's wife who rides out Adam's Barbour every day and their two boys.
AIRO Racing CLG would like to wish all Owners the very best of luck at Cheltenham and hope all the horses & riders come home safe and sound. #greencorner
The Association of Irish Racehorse Owners held their flat Awards at Naas Racecourse yesterday on the concluding day of the Flat Season. These Awards acknowledged the fantastic achievements of Irish Flat Owners whose horses excelled on the racecourse this season. Sponsors for the event were HRI Ownership Dept, the ITBA and The Irish Field.
The Leading Owner and Champion Horse awards were determined by Horse Racing Ireland and went the way of Mrs John Magnier and St. Mark’s Basilica owned by Mr Derrick Smith, Mrs John Magnier & Mr Michael Tabor. Jamie Moriarty representing the connections accepted the award on their behalf.
The following awards were selected by an independent panel consisting of all the Irish Racing TV pundits:
Owner Breeder Award – HH Aga Khan – Tarnawa – Pat Downes received the award on behalf of HH Aga Khan.
Syndicate /Racing Club Award – Kildare Racing Club – Sonnyboyliston, Liam Clarke received the award on their behalf.
Value Purchase at Goffs Award – Miss C R Holmes - Laws of Indices
Value Purchase at Tattersalls Ireland – Mrs Caroline Hendron & Mrs Mairead Cahill - Helvic Dream
Racing Dream Award – Mr Patrick Moyles - Logo Hunter
The final two awards presented on the day were people awards selected by AIRO’s Awards Committee. The first was a Special Achievement Award to Mrs Jackie Bolger in respect of the remarkable classic winning victories on the track of both Poetic Flare and Mac Swiney this season, both bred, trained & owned by Mrs Bolger and her husband Jim.
Brian Kavanagh received the Services to the Industry Award in recognition of the tremendous work he had done at the helm in Horse Racing Ireland for 20 years. In a lively chat with MC Brendan McArdle, Mr Kavanagh informed the group that he was looking forward to his new role as CEO of the Curragh and looked forward to hosting all the owners in the future.
We also held a Fantasy Forecast competition during the day and Martin Walsh was the overall winner on 46 points.
AIRO together with HRI Ownership Dept sponsored a meal voucher for all stable staff on the day as a token of gratitude for the dedication and hard work given every day looking after our horses.
The next awards day will take place on Sunday 5th December at Punchestown Racecourse where we look forward to hosting all the winning National Hunt Owners.
A streamlining of the claiming process to speed up the post-race procedures will be the result of changes to the guidelines in relation to claiming races announced today by Horse Racing Ireland (HRI).
From Tuesday, November 2, pre-authorisation on the day of the race will be required for all potential claimants. The claimant’s contact details, the name of the designated trainer for the horse they wish to claim, the name of the person responsible for collecting and transporting the claimed horse and the value of the horse they wish to claim should be submitted to Horse Racing Ireland up to one hour before the scheduled race time.
All potential claimants, including those who do not hold a HRI account, can contact the client accounts department of HRI for pre-authorisation on the day of the race. An arrangement will made to pre-authorise a debit or credit card for the purposes of the claim for those who are not HRI account holders. This pre-race process does not constitute making a claim and all claims must be lodged as normal after the race is run.
Pre-authorisation can be done in two ways: by completing the online pre-authorisation form or by telephoning the client accounts department of HRI.
Jason Morris, HRI’s Director of Racing, said: “The popularity of claiming races continues to grow as a medium for purchasing horses and we have seen a huge increase in the volume of activity, with upwards of 30 claims being submitted in races on occasions. This can lead to considerable delays in the post-race processing and the announcement of the successful claims.
“The changes to the regulations announced today will streamline the process for everyone involved and will also ensure the welfare of claimed horses as they transfer between trainers. The time between the race being run and the announcement of successful claims will be reduced, removing any ambiguity of who is responsible for the welfare of the horse in the period after the race.
“It is important to note that pre-authorisation must be sought each time a person intends to make a claim and that those wishing to proceed with their claim must contact the client accounts department of HRI after the race is run. No claim will be accepted after the race without pre-authorisation.”
For further information visit: https://www.hri-ras.ie/information-centre/claiming-race-information/
AIRO Racing CLG held its first Annual General Meeting as a company limited by guarantee on Thursday 26th August, 2021. The meeting was held remotely via the online zoom webinar platform. As per the constitution, six directors had to step down with option to put themselves up for re-election and all current members were invited to put themselves forward for election if they so desired to join the board of directors.
There were 8 available places on the board and we received 10 nomination forms resulting in an election. Two sitting company directors John Power and James Gough chose not to put themselves forward for re-election and we thank them for their contribution to the organisation over the years.
The voting process was conducted online whereby members could cast their votes remotely both prior to and at the meeting itself. The newly elected Board of Directors members are as follows:
We thank all candidates who put themselves forward for election and were heartened by the online response from members, who came out in their droves to support their chosen candidates. We are really excited with the new board and the future of our association looks safe and secure. The blend of youth and experience will ensure that owners continue to be represented with the best intentions and to the best of our ability.
With effect from Thursday 19th August, Health Screening can be completed by all industry attendees on the day of the race meeting and not on the day before.
Barcodes for the race meeting will be received within approx 15 minutes of application.
New attendees (first time registrations) can also apply on the day of the race meeting.
Attendees will need to update the App via the App Store/Google Play Store for the latest version.
If an attendee has symptoms of Covid or are a close contact of a positive case they will NOT be permitted to attend that day and should contact the Senior Medical Officer to discuss before their next attendance.
If an attendee has travelled outside of Ireland in the previous 14 days other than on the EU Digital Covid Cert, and has not yet discussed this with the Senior Medical Officer, they will NOT be permitted to attend that day and should contact the Senior Medical Officer to discuss before their next attendance.