11/20/2008 1:00AM

Irish racing taking cuts


Citing a depressed economic climate, the Irish Horseracing Board on Thursday announced across-the-board budget cuts to nearly all aspects of racing in the country.

The most immediate impact will be made with regard to prize money, which will be reduced to 56.5 million euros ($72.9 million) in 2009 from 60.7 million euros ($78.3 million) in 2008. The cuts come in the wake of the announcement last month that betting tax in Ireland would be doubled from 1 percent to 2 percent, while money allocated to purses by the government next year would be cut by 9.5 percent.

A plan to build a new grandstand at the Curragh was shelved last week because of the economic climate.