Day At The Track

IHRA announces new partnership

08:44 AM 13 Aug 2020 NZST
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The Irish Harness Racing Association (IHRA) has announced a new partnership agreement with Black Horse, the Finnish equine feed and supplements company. Black Horse will be offering their products to IHRA trainers at a discount and are expected to announce the first of their IHRA race sponsorships in the coming weeks.

For harness racing in Ireland to secure such a well known Finnish partner and sponsor while sports sponsorship, particularly international sponsorship, has declined due to the Covid-19 pandemic is a vote of confidence in Irish racing and a tribute to the hard work of those involved.

Black Horse is the equine brand of Biofarm, a Finnish manufacturer of feeds, vitamins and care products for horses, farm animals and pets. Biofarm Ltd was founded in 1988. Their first products were for cattle. Black Horse was started in 1982 by Anneli Lillkvist, who held a masters in agriculture and was a well known Finnish show jumper. 

After she retired  in the late 1990's Biofarm bought the Black Horse brand and began to develop and expand its equine product line with the help of Mrs Lillkvist. Today Black Horse is one of the leading horse feed and supplement brands in Finland. They have notable customers including the leading racing stables in Finland, for example Team Ojanperä whose Finnishhorse Evartti won The King of Trotters at Seinäjoki on 2nd of August this year.

Arto Lindqvist, the Blackhorse Head of Sales & Product Specialist for horse products, has been at Biofarm for 21 years and has a long history in the trotting industry having trained trotters since he was 15 and driving races at 17. He drove his last race in 2004 and drove in 230 races, with 12 wins, 5 seconds and 11 thirds. He is also a former harness race official and has co-owned a number of horses in Finland. Commenting on the partnership Arto said

“Last September I had the opportunity to explore Irish horse culture while being shown around various great equine sites by Pierce and Finlay Dargan. I expressed interest in importing our products to Ireland. In May of this year Pierce contacted me and about the opportunity to partner with the IHRA. We are delighted this came to pass, that we are in Ireland and have become an official partner of the IHRA.

Finland has a great history of harness racing, where the Kuninkuusravit (or King’s Race) attracts 60,000 spectators every year, and we are excited to be supporting the sport in Ireland. We have recently begun offering our products to IHRA trainers and as our presence in Ireland grows, we look forward to expanding the calendar of events we are able to support in Ireland. We would like to thank the IHRA and Mark Flanagan for their hard work as well as Pierce, Finlay and the team at Equine MediRecord for helping us to begin this partnership”.

Mark Flanagan, Chairman of the IHRA, commented:

“We are delighted to add a new international partner for the IHRA especially at these uncertain times. We have already begun discussing a range of initiatives they might be interested in. It is great to have the support of such a well known and established international harness racing brand supporting us as we look to grow the sport of harness racing in Ireland. We are very excited to have them with us as we continue to work to grow and improve our sport in Ireland.” 

For further information, on blackhorse you can visit their website:

From the Irish Harness Racing Association

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