Irish trainer Ado McGuiness says Brexit has caused more problems for Irish horseracing than COVID.
The Skylar House Stables man says the bureaucracy involved with transporting horses to and from England has made it financially unfeasible to send lower grade horses across the Irish Sea.
Speaking on Off The Ball’s Friday Night Racing, McGuiness described the rigmarole involved is transporting horses in a post-Brexit landscape.
“I think Brexit is a bigger problem than Covid. With Brexit, transporting horses back and forth to England is a nightmare. We’ve had to go to the Department of Agriculture to lodge money into an account, get a vet from the department to inspect the horse and microchip it", McGuiness said.
“The same coming back from England, the vets have to come and inspect the horse again in England to make sure he’s safe to travel back. Your papers have to be all stamped up. Then you’ve to send that to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and get the money you lodged into your account.
“Overall, I’d say, on each individual horse, travelling back and forth to England, you’re looking at an extra €600-€700 per horse", McGuiness stated.
The problems that Brexit have caused has been exacerbated by the British Horseracing Authority Covid protocols that ban lower grade horses from Ireland competing in the UK.
McGuiness added, “The BHA has stopped the low-grade horses from Ireland; the Class 5 and the Class 6 are not allowed to run in England anymore, flat or hurdles."
“Gordon [Elliott] would have travelled a lot, I always went to Wolverhampton in January with a bunch of horses that would struggle at Dundalk, and they’ve been successful, so we can’t do that anymore. Even if you could do it, it’s going to cost you a load of money.
“It is an artificial barrier...It’s a ridiculous rule because if you have a Class 4 horse, you can go to the meeting, but if you have a Class 5 or Class 6 horse, you can’t.”