The ‘golden age’ for the Irish equestrian industry

“We have some of the best riders, owners and horses in the world, as well as some of the best horse producers and breeders,” said HSI President Joe Reynolds. © Horse Sport Ireland

Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) reported a “challenging but successful year”, with Irish teams from all disciplines competing and winning at international level.

The organization had also secured grants and support for its affiliates totaling more than €2 million, and was looking to improve in its main pillars and departments – breeding and production, training and education, top sport level and its marketing department.

Write to organization annual report 2021President Joe Reynolds said the nation’s horse industry “has entered a truly golden era”.

“We have some of the best riders, owners and horses in the world competing for Ireland and for Horse Sport Ireland, as well as some of the best horse producers and breeders.”

Breeding initiatives have been maintained, with additional schooling and stallion health screening programs introduced, while the Level 1 training course was also updated last year.

He noted that HSI was fortunate to be able to administer Covid-19 related grants to 19 affiliate organizations within the HSI family.

Horse Sport Ireland's 2021 Annual Report has been released.
Horse Sport Ireland’s 2021 Annual Report has been released.

“These grants, provided by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media through Sport Ireland, have enabled €2.2 million to be paid to affiliated organizations to support the participation and return to sport after the pandemic.”

Horse Sport Ireland is a not-for-profit organization whose income is dedicated to initiatives to promote the development of the sport horse industry.

The organization is primarily funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Sport Ireland on behalf of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and its income for 2021 was €10,6825,445, higher than 2020 (€7,514,761), mainly due to increased grant income for Covid-19 related supports administered to industry.

HSI chief executive Denis Duggan said funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine goes directly to breeders, producers and owners of sport horses through national initiatives. ‘breeding, which ‘provided over €1,000,000 of funding directly to breeders and sport horse owners across Ireland’s 32 counties, with each county receiving an average of €31,000’.

“Costs for 2020 were €7,992,236, of which €3,385,824 was spent directly on industry supports such as prize money and breeding initiatives, as well as animal development programs. sport, while the balance was spent on industry support operational costs, including the salaries of those involved in delivering the program.

Challenges identified for the future included ensuring a positive culture within the sport and industry, from breeding yards and committee meetings to training camps. Duggan also noted the challenges of rising feed and fuel costs and the impact on the sector. He said HSI plans to create an equestrian skills network to create a subsidized on-the-job training program to support talent retention and development within the equine industry.