IRISH Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D. has hailed the awarding of over half a million euro in breeding grants from Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) to 55 shows and initiatives nationwide.
The HSI Breeding Grant offers support for breeding and production initiatives, classes and competitions at various equestrian shows and events throughout the country. Applications for the grants scheme opened in January 2021 on the Horse Sport Ireland website.
Launching the grants, Minister McConalogue said: “I am very happy to be able to launch this breeding initiative. My department has worked extensively with the HSI breeding team to ensure that deserving applicants have been awarded the funding necessary to be able to put on breeding and development shows, particularly with rare breeds in mind.
“55 applicants will receive over half million euro between them, and this will facilitate Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)-approved studbooks, breed societies and other equine events to propose and provide support for a specific breeding and production related shows, classes and initiatives.
“The grants will support smaller regional and grassroots breeding and production show-related classes. It will also engender a culture of breeder recognition and support in Ireland.
“The scheme supports rural spread of funding to breeders, producers and associated economic activity for venues nationwide, while also supporting innovation at grassroots level in the proposal, performance and promotion of Irish breeding and Irish horses.
“This is the largest fund allocated by the Department to the breeding grant initiative and will strive to support breeders and producers nationwide, the bedrock of the sport horse industry.”
In 2021, the Breeding Grant was oversubscribed with shows and events submitting applications for the fund. This year, over 60 shows sought support for over 270 breeding and production initiatives, classes and competitions at various equestrian shows and events nationwide, with 55 being granted funding (see below).
From major events, such as the Dublin Horse Show at the RDS to our regional events across the country, all applications were afforded the same consideration and, thanks to the work done between Horse Sport Ireland’s breeding department and the Department of Agriculture, extra funding was secured to ensure applicants received necessary funding.
At the launch, HSI Head of Breeding, Development and Innovation, Sonja Egan, said: “We are delighted to bring these initiatives to fruition alongside the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
“These initiatives empower breeders, producers, venues and show organisations to seek funding for innovative ideas related to young horse breeding, production and showing and, in doing so, supports their local equine and wider community infrastructure.
“These funds help breeders and producers to attract additional funding and entries through their local networks and stimulate economic activity within the local community. HSI asked, the Department delivered and we are delighted to award over half a million directly to Irish breeder and producers through this initiative.”
Horse Sport Ireland Chief Executive Denis Duggan added: “We are grateful to Minister McConalogue and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine for all their work and for ensuring that our applicants will receive the necessary funding for their events.
“Breeding and production throughout the country provides the backbone of the industry and therefore it is crucial for us to be able to provide supports to breeders, studbooks and events, big and small. This scheme aims to support breeders in their quest to produce the finest of Irish-bred horses. Breeders involved in producing horses for sale know the increased value that having a winning horse can bring to the sale of horse. Our aim, supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine is to ensure initiatives such as these funded today, which showcase Irish-bred horses contribute to increased sales value and higher prices for the breeder.”
“As the governing body of equestrian sport in Ireland, we endeavour to always support our stakeholders and this scheme highlights that, with over half a million euro in funding – the largest amount ever provided by the department to the equine industry – being used where it should be, and we are delighted to have been able to provide it.”
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.