Before embarking on a search a racehorse, Horse Racing Ireland advises owners to consider the following basics: 

    A horse that possesses the three P’s; Performance, Pedigree and Physical will almost always incur an increased “fourth P”; PRICE.  The combination of these three qualities does not guarantee ability, so don’t be discouraged.  A horse does not know how much it cost and anyone involved in racing will tell you there is a lot of luck required!

    Remember to consider a healthy, correct (good conformation and legs) animal with average breeding also. Like all athletes, horses have to be physically and anatomically correct, as this will minimise the risk of injury. 

    One of the most important aspects to purchasing a racehorse is to be certain that the animal has a clean Veterinary Certificate.  It is similar to a survey on a house, ensuring everything is in order before purchase.  A veterinary inspection should be carried out on horses at the public auction.  

    Refer to the sale catalogue for further terms and conditions of sale. Your bloodstock agent or trainer is your adviser, so do not hesitate to avail of their expertise and ask questions to clarify any doubts or concerns you may have.

    Above all, prior to purchasing, always seek expert advice.

  • Where To Source Your Horse

  • Ireland is recognised as a global leader in the breeding and sale of thoroughbreds and for this reason the bloodstock auction houses, Goffs, Tattersalls Ireland and Goresbridge, often host the best internationally attended sales in the world. 

    All three venues host a wide variety of sales throughout the year, ranging from foals and yearlings to untried jumps horses or horses in training.  We recommend a trip to the sales, even if only as a spectator, to see the bloodstock marketplace in action. 

    A full list of sales dates is available on and you can request a catalogue for any sale through


    Very often trainers have horses for sale in their yard.  This may be a young horse they have purchased or bred themselves, or a “tried” horse in the yard, a share in a current horse, or possibly one they have to lease.  Trainers are reluctant to let a good horse leave the yard so remember it is in the trainer’s interest to get the best horse possible. 

    Full contact details for all trainers can be found here -


    Some owners favour the expertise of a bloodstock agent.  On receiving your guidelines and budget details, an agent can source a horse for you either at public auction or privately.  Agents charge a commission fee of approximately 5% of the purchase value.

    The full list of Irish bloodstock agents can be found on the ITM website –


    A claiming race is a race in which every horse running can be “claimed” or purchased after the race.
    It is open to current owners, new owners or those getting back in the sport. It is a simple, quick and easy way to purchase a racehorse that is ready to run straight away.

    • Every horse in a claiming race is available to be purchased after the race.
    • The price for every horse will be listed on the racecard and must be purchased at that price.
    • Submitting more than one claim for the same horse by the same person is not allowed.
    • Claims should be telephoned to HRI on +353 (0)45 455444 not more than 10 minutes after the “Winner All Right” announcement.
    • Claims can be made through an owner’s HRI Account or with a Debit/Credit Card.
    • The prize-money for the Claiming Race will be due to the original owner of the horse.
    • All claims are subject to the full regulations that can be found on along with the upcoming claiming races.