Well, 'invading' is too strong a word to be honest, but the French trotter has landed on the shores of Ireland with more coming. As part of an agreement reached with Le Trot, French trotters are coming to the Irish shores in an effort to boost the Irish product. The Irish Harness Racing Club reached an agreement to import French trotters and to write a series which restricts access to those races to French horses. Additional horses remain to be purchased at a fixed cost. As a result of this deal, the IHRC will recieve financial aid and support to promote the sport in Ireland.
An additional benefit of this agreement is French trotters which are bred in Ireland will get access to French meets which will allow those horses to race in Europe. In addition, the Irish product will be offered on PMU for wagering in France.
The IHRC realizes it can no longer just remain a small operation; the need is for it to grow and become a better product which will gain access to more mainstream punters on the Island. It is hoped this deal with French authorities will be a good push in the effort.