The battle above the skies of Irish racecourses: drone operators vs Horse Racing Ireland

Horse racing bosses tried to shut down the operation of private drones at Irish racecourses through complaints to gardaí, the Data Protection Commission, and even the Irish Aviation Authority.

However, internal records reveal how Horse Racing Ireland concluded there was little that could be done except seeking a change in the law.

Drones are being used routinely around Irish racecourses to take advantage of a short time lag between broadcast footage of events and the action on the ground.

Even this small delay allows gamblers take advantage of changes to so-called “in-running” betting odds, if say a horse begins to struggle, jumps awkwardly, or falls.

Internal records detail how Horse Racing Ireland were in touch with gardaí in Naas Garda Station last year, who were trying to make “life difficult” for those involved in the filming.