More than €500,000 will be awarded to over 60 equestrian bodies, societies and organisations, including the Association of Irish Riding Clubs, across the equestrian community in the 2023 Horse Sport Ireland Breeding Grant allocation.
Charlie McConalogue, T.D, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, joined Denis Duggan, CEO of Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) and Dr Sonja Egan, the organisation’s Head of Breeding, Innovation and Development, to welcome a number of the breeding grant awardees, representing just some of the diverse breed societies and organisations supported through the 2023 scheme.
Representatives in receipt of funding and attending the launch in the National Horse Sport Arena in the National Sports Campus included Tomás Rosengrave of the Kerry Bog Pony Cooperative Society, Elizabeth Deane Cogan of the Irish Draught Horse Society, Robert Draper of the Irish Draught Horse Breeders Association, Eventing Ireland Board member Bridget McGing and CEO of the Royal Dublin Society Geraldine Ruane.
The diversity of the allocation of funding is evident, with multiple breed societies and organisations around Ireland receiving funding for various shows throughout 2023. This funding will provide direct support to various activities in the sport horse industry.
Speaking at the launch, Minister McConalogue said: “I am delighted to launch the Breeding Grant 2023 initiative and to be joined today by industry representatives who do exceptional work in the promotion and preservation of our rare breeds such as the Irish Draught Horse and Kerry Bog Pony.
“This fund, administered by HSI, amounts to over €500,000 and will support over 60 shows and initiatives across the country in 2023, as well as the RDS Dublin Horse Show which I look forward to attending in August.
“My department continues to work extensively with the HSI Breeding Department to ensure that deserving applicants have been awarded the funding necessary to host breeding initiatives and shows, particularly with rare breeds in mind.”
Denis Duggan, CEO of Horse Sport Ireland said: “As the governing body of equestrian sport in Ireland we maintain the unique position of supporting breeding and production through National Breeding Services, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine.
“This allows HSI to reflect on the needs of Irish horses and breeders, from conception to a career in competition and breeding the next generation of Irish horses. The Breeding Grant scheme hones in on the breeding and production of young horses with opportunities for breeders and producers to produce and add value to their horses in every corner of Ireland.
“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.
“HSI is delighted that the over half a million euro in funding has been maintained from its significant total funding allocation in 2022. The scheme aims, supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, to ensure initiatives such as these funded through the Breeding Grant, showcase Irish-bred horses and contribute to increased value and return for the breeder in their breeding decisions.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the funded representatives for joining us today from the Irish Draught Horse Society, Kerry Bog Pony Cooperative Society, Irish Draught Horse Breeders Association, Eventing Ireland, and the Royal Dublin Society.”
(Image: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile)