HORSE Sport Ireland (HSI) has said the best way to minimise risk of Covid-19 is adherence to government advice and HSE guidelines, and that its main focus right now is on supporting the Irish Sport Horse community through this unprecedented national crisis.
Speaking last Friday, Ronan Murphy, Chief Executive of Horse Sport Ireland said: “I know that there has been an enormous effort by the sport horse community to do everything it can, and many are making considerable sacrifices. I want to acknowledge and commend them for their efforts to protect people and our society, while at the same time ensuring the welfare of horses is maintained to the highest standards. We are operating within the constraints currently put in place in the best interest of our society, and in doing so we will ensure that we are in the best possible position to make our industry even stronger when this current crisis comes to an end – which it will.
“Feed supplies, farriers and veterinary visits must continue to ensure animal welfare, and breeding, training and production of sport horses can continue, but all this work must be done carried out while fully adhering to the HSE guidelines.”
Horse Sport Ireland is in constant contact with Irish Government departments and it will continue to provide all relevant information to stakeholders, including the latest health advice, fixture rescheduling and any supports that are being put in place to support both employers and employees.
Murphy continued: “It is vitally important that we all look after our own health, both physically and mentally during this crisis. Sport is an outlet for us all to take a break from the daily pressures of normal life. While most live sport is currently paused, HSI will be rolling out many exciting new features, interviews and training tips online. We will be looking back on the many glorious results Ireland has had in the past and looking ahead to what promises to be an exciting future. We will also be sharing content from our top athletes and breeders, showing how they are working through this challenge.”
In conclusion, Ronan Murphy said: “Our industry has battled through many challenges in the past, including the recession and foot and mouth. We will be working closely with all our Affiliates and industry stakeholders to recalibrate our plans and establish robust actions to minimise the effects of the current situation and to get our industry back up and running as quickly as possible over the coming weeks and months.
“We know from experience that the only way to beat this latest challenge is to work together, stay positive, and redouble our commitment to this critically important indigenous industry in the knowledge that we will prevail.”