Horse racing and greyhound racing have become the latest victims of the major freeze in Ireland. The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) has announced that all racing has been canceled for at least a week as the arctic weather continues. There is expected to be no break in the current conditions for at least another week to ten days.

Meanwhile horse racing is also feeling the pressure. There may well be no fixtures until a big meeting at Leopardstown on January 23 and 24. Access to horse racing tracks many of which are in rural areas is a huge problem.

“The safety of those in and around the sport who would have to travel, as well as of the greyhounds that would be racing is our primary concern,” said Irish Greyhound Board Chief Executive Adrian Neilan.

“With the current conditions showing no early sign of improvement we have acted decisively to put both short-term and long-terms plans in place should this current weather continue.

“We will conduct a national inspection of all IGB tracks next Wednesday with a view to racing resuming wherever possible on Friday 15 or Saturday 16 January.

“We are conscious of the hardship this will cause for people within the sport at a difficult time but the maintenance of a safe racing surface and safe access to our facilities has to be assured before any track will re-open.

“Once a firm date is set for the continuation of racing we will work closely with industry stakeholders to finalize various options to ensure that greyhounds are ready to race.”